Title

'What made me unhappy'. Experiences of, and responses to, lifestyle changes in breast cancer patients

Date of this Version

5-1-2010

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Bitsika, V., Sharpley, C.F. & Christie, D.R.H. (2010). 'What made me unhappy'. Experiences of, and responses to, lifestyle changes in breast cancer patients. British journal of guidance and counselling, 38(2), 179-189.

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2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 170100

© Copyright Taylor & Francis, 2010

Abstract

Sixteen breast cancer patients were interviewed about any lifestyle changes they had experienced and their reactions to those changes. Data were collected and analysed via content analysis and then summary tabulations of patient responses until replication of responses was verified across patients. Results indicated that most patients suffered a reduction in recreation activities, unpleasant physical side effects from treatment and loss of feminine appearance characteristics, all of which were seen as decreases in previously available and valuable sources of social support and self-esteem. In response to these losses, patients reported a common coping strategy of avoidance or escape similar to some depressive symptomatology. Implications for counsellors are discussed.

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This document has been peer reviewed.