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Significant others' experience of suffering when living with women with breast cancer
Åbo Akademi Vasa.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies.
Åbo Akademi Vasa.
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Clinical Pharmacology.
2002 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, Vol. 16, no 3, 248-255 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This is an inquiry into how significant others experience being close to a woman suffering from breast cancer. In order to find this out, theme interviews were arranged with 17 women and 16 significant others from four different caring cultures in Sweden and Finland. A phenomenological case study methodology was adopted and in the analysis of the data a scientific teamwork model was employed, based on ideas developed at the Vancouver School of Doing Phenomenology. The findings show that the significant others experience deep often unrelieved suffering. They consider themselves prisoners of a situation of uncertainty and powerlessness when standing by the woman. They are torn between their own suffering and their desire to alleviate the woman's suffering. A vicious circle of mutual protection intensifies the suffering of the significant other, while actively sharing the suffering brings relief. The gravity of the situation creates an ethical urge in the significant other to assume responsibility for life in common with the woman.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 16, no 3, 248-255 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26930DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-6712.2002.00093.xLocal ID: 11556OAI: diva2:247480
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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