University Presentation Showcase: Faculty Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 2017


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


Introduction: This study describes breast cancer survivors’ experiences participating in their important activities during and after breast cancer treatment. Method: Ten survivors between the ages of 45 and 64 with Stage I, II, or III breast cancer who had been treated consecutively with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy were recruited for the study, and participated in two semi-structured interviews: end of radiation therapy and 6-months post-treatment. Findings: Interpretative phenomenological analysis led to two superordinate themes at the end of radiation (“individual outlook influences how activities are approached” and “social support reduces the stress of life”) which seemed to support participation in important activities, and two themes that discouraged participation (“side effects influence how activities are completed” and “personal and treatment stresses and struggles influenced their perspectives on life”). At 6-months post-treatment, the superordinate theme “life after cancer has changed due to cancer diagnosis and treatment” seemed to encourage participation in important activities and the theme “side effects continue to influence daily activities" did not. Conclusions: These findings provide a framework for evaluating survivors and developing a treatment plan, which may include teaching strategies and problem-solving techniques, identifying social support, and broadening activity participation