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Kinesiology & Physical Education


The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of spirituality in coping among women with breast cancer and their families. This phenomenological study was guided by family systems theory and the recognition that a family is a complex system whereby family members interact with one another as well as with the outside world. A change in any of these interactions/relationships can affect the rest of the system, and the diagnosis of breast cancer in mothers within the family system is no exception. Five families (five women, five men and six children) comprising a total of 16 participants took part in this study. The women in this study reported using a number of methods to cope with their illness, one of which was utilising their spiritual beliefs. Although they placed a great deal of importance upon their spiritual beliefs, their families did not. The implications of this reality upon nursing practice will be discussed here.


This article was originally published in Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 13(2): 25-31.