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BMC Research Notes


Objectives: Due to the increasing survivorship of breast cancer, survivor's view of their families through the process of diagnosis and treatment is essential. The Theory of Health-related Family Quality of Life (HRFQoL) guided this exploration of the ways in which breast cancer impacts family life. In this study, HRFQoL was used to explore breast cancer survivors' perceptions of the theory's sub-concepts of psychological and/or affectional closeness, family communication, and social support. The guiding research question was: In what ways do breast cancer survivors describe their experiences regarding changes in emotional closeness among family members following their breast cancer diagnosis? Participants (N = 22) were interviewed to discuss their experiences with breast cancer, family quality of life, decision-making, basic health information, and personal coping. Data were analyzed using NVivo 9 to conduct thematic analysis and consensual qualitative data analysis.

Results: Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer improved the majority of participants' HRFQoL. Participants who reported positive perceptions prior to diagnosis also reported positive perceptions after diagnosis. These findings elucidate the HRFQoL theory and contribute to understanding how breast cancer impacts family life.



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Communication, Family, Qualitative methodology, Quality of life, Social Support, Theory