Poster Presentation

Thursday, July 12, 2007
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Thursday, July 12, 2007
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation II
Getting back to normal: the experience of receiving breast reconstruction in women with breast cancer in Taiwan
Su Ying Fang, MS, RN, Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Chung Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan and Bih-Ching Shu, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing and Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Learning Objective #1: understand the meanings of breast for women with breast cancer.
Learning Objective #2: get better understanidng in helping women confront with the breast cancer disease.

The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of women who was diagnosed with breast cancer and received breast reconstruction. Four women who had undergone mastectomy and received breast reconstruction were interviewed in this study. The interviews were focused on reviewing their experiences of receiving breast reconstruction. Each participant was interviewed from one to two times and six verbatim transcripts were formed. All women were willing to participate in this study and gave informed consent. Descriptive phenomenology was used to describe and interpret the participants' experiences about what influenced their decision on the selection of breast reconstruction and how they perceived their body after the surgery. Data revealed that getting back to normal was a central phenomenon in these women's experience. This core essence penetrated other themes through their narratives of experience about breast reconstruction: (a) whether my body coheres with the social norm, (b) whether my body keeps my intimate relationship, (c) whether my body still maintains a woman’s integrity, (d) whether my body maintains a sense of original me and (e) taking all responsibility. The experience of women receiving breast reconstruction encompasses a wide range of responses and reflects our social cultural background and value system. In Taiwan, the findings can help health workers to get better understanding in the illness experience of women whose body changed duo to breast cancer.