Cultural interrelationships and the lived experience of Pakistani breast cancer patients

Author(s): Banning M, Hassan M, Faisal S, Hafeez H


Aim:There is a paucity of British and international literature on the psychological, sociological and cultural correlates of breast health in ethnic minority women.

Methods:This two centre qualitative study was part of a larger study that aimed to examine the influence of culture on the lived experience of Pakistani Muslim breast cancer patients. Thirty six patients attending hospital out-patient breast cancer clinics in Lahore, Pakistan and London, UK were recruited to the study. Women were predominantly married, 20-76 years of age with an average of three children. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results:Five themes emerged: Discovery and reaction to the disease; disclosure to family; developing emotions; emerging reality; long term uncertainty.

Conclusions:Data infer that irrespective of city of residence, the cultural attributes of women, breast health awareness and reactions to the diagnosis and treatment are similar. To raise awareness, more focused health education interventions are needed.

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