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Pity: a qualitative study on Iranian women with breast cancer

Authors Zeighami Mohammadi S, Mohammadkhan Kermanshahi S, Vanaki Z

Received 13 August 2018

Accepted for publication 8 November 2018

Published 20 December 2018 Volume 2019:13 Pages 21—28


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Sharareh Zeighami Mohammadi, Sima Mohammadkhan Kermanshahi, Zohreh Vanaki

Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Women with breast cancer (BC) are commonly confronted with others’ pity. However, there is limited information about pity in Iranian women with BC. The aim of this study was to explore perceptions, reactions, coping strategies, and consequences of pity among Iranian women with BC.
Methods: This qualitative study was carried out from March 2016 till October 2017. A purposive sample of 36 women with BC was selected with maximum variation from three health care centers in Alborz Province, Iran. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and analyzed using a conventional content-analysis approach.
Results: Our findings indicated that Iranian women with BC experienced received pity and perceived unusual attention from others as due to certain reasons. Others’ pity caused negative emotional reactions in them. They used self-protection strategies against others’ pity. The consequences of self-protection against pity were normalizing the patient’s flow of life and/or social isolation.
Conclusion: Pity is a serious psychosocial challenge in Iranian women with BC, with negative effects on quality of life. Therefore, pity should be considered in counseling and psychosocial screening of patients.

Keywords: breast cancer, pity, qualitative study, conventional content analysis

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