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Activities of Daily Living in Women With Advanced Breast Cancer

Susan DeSanto-Madeya
Susan Bauer-Wu
Abigail Gross
ONF 2007, 34(4), 841-846 DOI: 10.1188/07.ONF.841-846

Purpose/Objectives: To detail the daily activities of women with advanced breast cancer.

Design: Descriptive, qualitative.

Setting: Six clinical sites in New England. Of the six sites, three were urban, one was suburban, and two were rural, with three sites being comprehensive cancer centers.

Sample: 84 women with a confirmed diagnosis of stage IV breast cancer with a life expectancy of four months or more.

Methods: A secondary analysis of an expressive writing intervention study control group. As part of the control writing group, participants kept handwritten activity logs for four consecutive days. Standard content analysis procedures were used to analyze the transcribed activity logs.

Main Research Variables: Activities of daily living in women with advanced breast cancer.

Findings: 22 codes were identified that depicted the daily activities of participants. Subsequent analysis merged the 22 codes into six themes.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrated that patients with advanced breast cancer are living very full, active lives despite numerous symptoms and cancer treatments.

Implications for Nursing: The study serves as a foundation for the development of interventions to enhance daily functioning. Oncology nurses should counsel women with advanced cancer regarding pacing and self-care activities.

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