'It's not the easy part': The experience of significant others of women with early stage breast cancer, at treatment completion

Carrie E. Lethborg, David Kissane, W. Ivon Burns

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Partners of women with breast cancer are intimately affected by their disease. This study describes the lived experience of the significant others of women with early stage breast cancer at the point of their partners' completion of adjuvant therapies. Significant others describe their need to adapt to the fear of losing their partner, the impact on their own mortality and their new role of caregiver for which they were unprepared. The greatest divergence between patient and partner was at the point of treatment completion. Whereas the women were continuing to experience difficulties at this time, their significant others were focused on 'getting back to normal.' There is a need to increase our understanding of the psychosocial needs of primary carers in order to better support them, as integral members of the care team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-85
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Breast cancer
  • Lived experience
  • Partners
  • Post treatment
  • Primary carers
  • Significant others
  • Treatment completion

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