Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
PARRA GOMEZ, Carlos Eduardo; GARCIA S¡ANCHEZ, Lilia Virginia and INSUASTY ENRIQUEZ, Jesús. Life Experiences of Women with Breast Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.1, pp. 65-84. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction: Breast cancer is a common pathology and treatments like chemotherapy affect women's psyche and life experiences. Unfortunately, studies that try to understand the chemotherapy experience are scarce in Colombia. Objective: To understand the psychosocial consequences of chemotherapy treatments in the life experiences of women with cáncer, in order to improve psychotherapeutic elements as well as medical decisions. Methodology: This study was done with a qualitative-interpretive method, using the analytical tools of grounded theory and adopting as a methodological framework the ecological model applied to psychooncology as proposed by Bronfrenbrenner. Results: The following categories were developed as an explanation of the phenomenon: (1) Change experiences in corporeality and emotional reactions, (2) different meanings of treatment, new beliefs, and new goals in life, (3) experiences with family and community, and (4) experiences with other patients and medical staff. Conclusions: This study shows that women undergoing chemotherapy experience changes in their psyche and in their personal relationships. Women undergoing chemotherapy end up calmly accepting the changes produced by this treatment in their lives, but recognize the need of psychosocial support during this process in order to avoid unnecessary suffering.
Keywords : Breast cancer; drug therapy; qualitative analysis; life experiences.