Black South African Women's Experience of Life Partner Support Through the Trajectory of Cervical Cancer

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 10:30 AM

Annah Mosalo, RN, B-Tech , MSN,
Department of Health Studies, UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa

Learning Objective 1: Will be able to deal with diverse culture pertaining to cervical cancer related issues

Learning Objective 2: Will be able to advocate for cancer support especially especially that limited research has been done around this particular are in sub-sahara

Purpose: To explore how women treated for cervical cancer at an Academic hospital in Tshwane perceived the support they received from their life partners 

Methods: The study was qualitative, exploratory and contextual

Results: Four themes emerged from the data: lack of knowledge of cervical cancer, cultural issues, support received and sexual issues.Women lacked knowledge of cervical cancer and its treatment leading to fear of being hospitalised and dying in hospital. Some were subjected to paternalism taken to traditional healers. Life partner support varied as some participants received partial support whilst others were abandoned. Sexual behaviour changed due to disease and treatment


Women diagnosed with cervical cancer received partial support from their partners and some were even abandoned. Various factors added to this situation. Women lacked   knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer and its treatment and the bad news were broken in the absence of their partners. Women had to convey the message of their disease and treatment to their partners and received treatment in isolation with support provided via cell phones.  It is not clear how women would like to be supported and whether they were satisfied with support they received and should be explored to enable the design of a support intervention.