Experiences, difficulties and coping methods of female nurses caring for breast cancer surgery patients: A qualitative study

Sagdic B., Bozkul G., Karahan S.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY NURSING, vol.102511, pp.1-8, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102511
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejon.2024.102511
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-8
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


Aim: The present study aims to qualitatively explore the experiences, problems, and coping methods of nurses caring for mastectomy patients. Methods: The study employs an exploratory–descriptive design with the participation of 14 nurses serving in a surgical oncology clinic. We gathered the data through semi-structured, face-to-face interviews and analyzed the transcriptions of audio recordings using the thematic analysis method. We then extracted relevant codes and subthemes to achieve the main themes. The main themes are presented in three relevant contexts. Results: Participating nurses’ experiences are addressed through the themes of ‘emotional difficulties,’ ‘physical difficulties,’ and ‘positive awareness.’ In addition, their coping methods are considered within the themes of ‘coping methods’ and ‘motivation.’ The final context is identified as needs, where the themes of ‘organizational needs’ and ‘psychosocial needs’ are explored. Our findings highlighted that although participating nurses usually confront physical and emotional challenges, they exert much effort to develop both positive awareness and engage in behavioral changes. Interestingly, we observed that participants remain ineffective in dealing with and have difficulties employing relevant solutions for professional issues. Conclusion: Overall, even though participating nurses need to deal with the burden of physical and emotional challenges when caring for patients, their coping strategies with these difficulties often remain insufficient. Thus, our humble recommendation may lie in satisfying the organizational and psychosocial needs of surgical nurses to promote their coping skills when fulfilling their demanding tasks with mastectomy patients.