The role of self-help group in Jordan following treatment for breast cancer

Mahasneh, Deema (2015) The role of self-help group in Jordan following treatment for breast cancer. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Background/Rationale: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Recent findings found that self-help group is helpful for maintaining treatment regimens and coping with breast cancer and associated fears. However, there is a paucity of evidence on how a self-help group shapes women’s recovery, particularly in Jordan.

Purpose of the Study/Setting: To investigate a breast cancer self-help group in Jordan.

Study Design/Methods: Interpretative approach, with semi-structured interviews. A purposive sample of 34 participants was recruited from the King Hussein Cancer Centre comprising 15 women with breast cancer who participated in Sanad group; 13 non-participating women; and six health care professionals (two nurses and four social workers).

Data Analysis: All qualitative data were analysed thematically using NVivo 9 software.

Findings: The analysis revealed five categories and thirteen sub-categories. The first category was about decision-making: “finding other ways” involving two sub-categories focusing on the influences on making decisions and alternatives. The second category focused on the meaning of Sanad to women, involving three sub-categories, namely “getting out of the capsule”, “being part of a new family” and “learning from each other”. The third category focused on the perceived tensions in effective meetings involving two sub-categories: “it depends on who attends: behaviours and attributes in Sanad” and “from cohesion to disruption: dealing with loss in Sanad”. The fourth category was about ideas of recovery for Sanad members and involved three sub-categories, namely “from isolation to ‘recharging my battery’”, “from reluctance to acceptance” and “from hopelessness to hopefulness”. The fifth category addressed the ideas of recovery for non-attendees involving three sub-categories, from “being glued to my room to being attached to outside world”, “from hopelessness to depression” and “from hesitation to rejection of the treatment plan”.

It was found that dominating the meetings, being sarcastic and underestimating the feelings of others play a major negative role in shaping discussions and create communication difficulties in Sanad meetings. Indeed, the current analysis shows a lack of hope among non-attendees of Sanad, feelings of helplessness, and negative attitudes towards treatment itself. A conceptual model involving three spheres (family, Sanad and recovery) was designed to assist nurses in identifying factors affecting women’s decisions about joining Sanad or not.

Conclusion: The recovery process following attending Sanad is multifaceted, thus it is important to examine women’s values and needs, because the group is not homogeneous and commonality in terms of diagnosis is insufficient. Unless the components of the model proposed in this thesis and how they affect each other are understood by health professionals, addressing individual and social factors influencing women’s recovery is highly complex.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cox, K.
Avis, M.
Keywords: Breast cancer, Self-help group, Recovery, Semi-structured interviews, Jordan
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WP Gynecology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Item ID: 28416
Depositing User: Mahasneh, Deema
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 10:23
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 16:40

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