Patients' Lived Experience of Chemotherapy after Mastectomy: A Phenomenological Study

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Yu Chen Liao, RN
Department of Nursing, Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taichung, Taiwan
Li-Fen Wu, PhD
College of Nursing in Health Care, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan


The study discovers the chemotherapy patient’s life experiences that are breast cancer after mastectomy, and understood patient's demand and the symptom distress, as well as the factor affect their life journey.


This research used phenomenology research technique and semi-structural interview. The subjects confirmed to participate the study and signed the letter of consent. After the conversation, the record of the material copied out the writing. The case  experience was faithful also the integrity presents by the writing, and accept any change or the fluctuation, Study cases were from a medical center in central Taiwan, outpatient chemotherapy room, patient processed the end of chemotherapy. It was 40 cases, the actual size of the sample size data analysis was no new case presented as the standard. The selection criteria were as follows: breast cancer after surgery, chemotherapy, conscious clear, can talk in Mandarin or Taiwanese language, willing to participate in study and share life experience of adult women . The reliability of the data was carefully selected cases, pre-interview skills training, control interview context, to establish interactive data analysis. Validity established by the recording interview and audio transcription quality control, interviews and analysis of information considered “deposit regardless of” principle, in order to reduce errors and to be objective . This study used Giorgi & Giorgi (2003) proposed research procedures for data analysis.


Four main concepts through the case described in the context of the experience, they are as follows: Embrace hope, Struggle for life, Reflect on life, and Meet in regret. The added bonus is that patients appreciate the opportunity to express the feeling of suffering. Through the one-on-one talks between nursing staff and patients, the patients re-examine their past life, and re-establish the meaning of life.


The results of the study provide an important basis for the nursing staff who take care of this type of patients.