In this first part of a longitudinal study, women were asked to reflect on the meaning of spirituality in the first year following diagnosis of breast cancer. Twenty-two women were interviewed at approximately one year post-diagnosis. This paper reports on a thematic analysis of these interviews. Participants' responses reflected three higher-order themes: relationship with a higher power, a deepening sense of self, and spiritual connection with others. The findings provide an enhanced understanding of how spirituality frames and impacts (both positively and negatively) the experience of breast cancer immediately following diagnosis and treatment. Most participants in this study found strength and support in their experiences of spirituality. They also spoke at times of feeling disconnected from or abandoned by God. The paper concludes with a discussion of how cancer health professionals might respond to the spiritual needs expressed by women living with cancer.

Additional Metadata
Journal Canadian oncology nursing journal = Revue canadienne de nursing oncologique
Citation
Gould, J. (Judy), Wilson, S. (Sue), & Grassau, P. (2008). Reflecting on spirituality in the context of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Canadian oncology nursing journal = Revue canadienne de nursing oncologique, 18(1), 34–46.