Race, Culture, and Identity
A qualitative study on coping strategies of young women living with breast cancer in Ghana
This study sought to identify ways of coping with breast cancer diagnosis and its treatment challenges among young Ghanaian women living in the Accra metropolis.
The study used an exploratory descriptive qualitative approach to recruit twelve participants aged 28–45 years through purposive and snowball sampling methods from three hospitals in the Accra metropolis. Participants were interviewed using a face to face approach and interviews were audio recorded with participants’ permission. Verbatim transcription was done and data were analyzed using content analysis procedures.
Participants believed God is the ultimate healer. They prayed and read the Bible. Some believed God could replace their breasts, they voided sinful acts and used religious artefacts such as the Rosary, special oil prepared by pastors, pictures of pastors. They obtained physical and emotional support from their families, partners and significant others. They compared themselves with others who had worse health challenges such as those with end-stage breast cancers who were on admission and those who have died. Participants also listened to music, read storybooks, took a walk in flower gardens to cope with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Young women living with breast cancer rely more on God and support from their families, friends and the church in coping with their condition. These young women need to be attended to by multidisciplinary healthcare team the clinical psychologist and a spiritual leader to enable meet their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs.
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