The experiences, needs and concerns of younger women with breast cancer: a meta-ethnography

Eike Adams, Lisa McCann, Jo Armes, Alison Richardson, Daniel Stark, Eila Watson, Gill Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This meta-ethnography synthesises the evidence on the experiences, needs and concerns of younger women with breast cancer.

Methods: Using a method called 'reciprocal translation' we developed a conceptual model to reflect the local and social contexts, issues, processes, needs and concerns of importance in this literature.

Findings: Key findings relate to the particular point in the life-course at which young women with breast cancer stand. Issues for these women relate to feeling different as a result of cancer, fear of recurrence, feeling 'out of sync' and altered embodied subjectivity. Young women with breast cancer use three processes to integrate the changes that cancer brings, namely, balancing, normalising and changing. Our conceptual model also highlights young women's needs, primarily for support, information, childcare, counselling and spiritual support. Areas of reproduction, fertility and sexuality were also of particular concern. The included papers have methodological limitations that impact on our findings, such as opportunistic data analyses, lack of theoretical frameworks and limited reference to socio-cultural factors.

Conclusion: The conceptual model developed as a result of this meta-ethnography provides a basis for practitioners to address these young women's concerns more adequately and comprehensively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-861
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Early online date30 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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