Wearing the mask of wellness: The experience of young women living with advanced breast cancer

Debra M. Lundquist, Donna L. Berry, Marie Boltz, Susan A. DeSanto-Madeya, Pamela J. Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To describe and interpret the lived experiences of young women with advanced breast cancer. PARTICIPANTS & SETTING: 12 women, aged 25-39 years with advanced breast cancer, were recruited from private Facebook groups for women with breast cancer. METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: Van Manen's hermeneutic phenomenologic method was used. Data were collected through one or more semistructured interviews over a six-month period. Analysis was conducted using NVivo, version 11. FINDINGS: The participants' multidimensional experiences were described by the overarching theme of wearing the mask of wellness in the presence of life-threatening illness. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: This study provides insight into the experiences of young women living with advanced breast cancer. Because these women may not appear ill to the general population, their needs and struggles are not well understood. The results of this study can be a baseline for additional research and clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalOncology nursing forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology(nursing)


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