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Meanings attributed by homosexual women and their partnerships to breast cancer and it treatment

Grant number: 16/26212-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2017
Effective date (End): April 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Manoel Antônio dos Santos
Grantee:Carolina de Souza
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Breast cancer accounts for 22% of new cases each year and is the second most common cancer in the world and the one that affects women the most. If diagnosed early and properly treated, the prognosis is relatively good. As breast cancer incidence and survival rates are high nowadays, many women will cope with the sequelae of their treatment and illness for a relatively long period. This makes it increasingly timely to invest in studies that lead to the development of interventions that may contribute to improving the psychological and physical health of these women, with an emphasis on quality of life. The literature devoted to the quality of life that focuses on aspects related to the sexuality of the affected woman is based on the assumption that she has a heterosexual orientation, according to the naturalized assumption of heteronormativity. Little is known about the experiences of homosexual women affected by breast cancer. Homosexual women are more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from depression, anxiety, and psychoactive substance use disorders. Discrimination, abuse and victimization experiences have been consistently identified as risk factors for mental disorders in this sexually minority population. Considering these assumptions, this study aims to understand the meanings attributed by homosexual women with breast cancer and their intimate partners to illness and their experience of cancer treatment. It is a qualitative, cross-sectional, descriptive-exploratory study that will be based on gender studies. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as their intimate partners, and who undergo oncological treatment at a public referral hospital in oncology, located in a city in the interior of São Paulo, will participate. The convenience sample will be delimited by the theoretical saturation criterion. For the construction of the corpus of analysis will be conducted episodic narrative interviews, with questions that will seek to circumscribe the meanings that homosexual women attribute to the disease and to treatment. The interviews will be conducted individually (and lastly with the dyad), face-to-face, lasting approximately 80 minutes, and audio-taped with the authorization of the participants. After data collection, the recorded audio content will be transcribed literally and in full. Subsequently, the data will be analyzed and discussed from the perspective of the thematic content analysis inductive. Through this procedure will be investigated aspects related to the affective-sexual trajectory of the participants, meanings attributed to their past and current relationships, to the way they are received by health services, their conceptions about whether or not the health team is able to deal with sexual diversity, the benefits and barriers encountered in the encounter with health services, as well as facilities and Difficulties to move forward with treatment, suggestions for improving the health service to better meet users' needs and future plans/perspectives. It is hoped that the knowledge produced may contribute to the implementation of health promotion and prevention strategies with the psychosocial rehabilitation services aimed at women submitted to mastectomy, enabling the development of social and public policies implemented by the State that are sensitive to sexual diversity and gender. (AU)

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