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Feeling like me again : a grounded theory of the role of breast reconstruction surgery in self-image

Mckean, Lindsay N. and Newman, Emily F. and Adair, Pauline (2013) Feeling like me again : a grounded theory of the role of breast reconstruction surgery in self-image. European Journal of Cancer Care, 22 (4). pp. 493-502. ISSN 0961-5423

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Abstract

The present study aimed to develop a theoretical understanding of the role of breast reconstruction in women's self-image. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 women from breast cancer support groups who had undergone breast reconstruction surgery. A grounded theory methodology was used to explore their experiences. The study generated a model of 'breast cancer, breast reconstruction and self-image', with a core category entitled 'feeling like me again' and two principal categories of 'normal appearance' and 'normal life'. A further two main categories, 'moving on' and 'image of sick person' were generated. The results indicated a role of breast reconstruction in several aspects of self-image including the restoration of pre-surgery persona, which further promoted adjustment.