THE PSYCHOSOCIAL EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN TREATED FOR BREAST CANCER BY HIGH-DOSE CHEMOTHERAPY SUPPORTED BY AUTOLOGOUS STEM CELL TRANSPLANT: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF SUPPORT GROUPS

THE PSYCHOSOCIAL EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN TREATED FOR BREAST CANCER BY HIGH-DOSE CHEMOTHERAPY SUPPORTED BY AUTOLOGOUS STEM CELL TRANSPLANT: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF SUPPORT GROUPS

THE PSYCHOSOCIAL EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN TREATED FOR BREAST CANCER BY HIGH-DOSE CHEMOTHERAPY SUPPORTED BY AUTOLOGOUS STEM CELL TRANSPLANT: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF SUPPORT GROUPS

Abstract

Autologous bone marrow transplantation (AuBMT) is probably among the most aggressive of physical treatments endured by cancer patients. High-risk breast cancer patients who choose this therapy face prolonged, agonizing and life-threatening interventions that are no less arduous than confronting the malignant disease itself. The study, which aimed to broadening our understanding of the psychosocial impact and the implications of AuBMT, presents a protocol analysis of group support intervention in 45 recipients (eight to ten women in five groups). The sessions were held at theTransplant Department at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center. The contribution of group support to the healing process was examined. The findings show that recovery was affected by a wide range of psychosocial factors, specifically highlighting the impact of transplantation and survival on five domains, viz. physical, psychological/emotional, vocational, social and family/spousal intimacy. Illness and treatment management is also discussed. The support generated by the group, both individually and collectively, was found to contribute significantly to the spectrum of resources available to the participants.

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