In the acute phase of surgery and as determinants of women's choice of reconstruction
Background Having cancer and having one breast removed can affect all aspects of a woman's life. The literature shows that many women experience an altered body image and sexuality, loss of femininity, a feeling of less sexual attractiveness and decline in self-esteem. Furthermore mastectomy can affect women's perception of quality of life and psychosocial state.In Denmark, no previous studies have focused on perception of body image and sexuality in the acute phase after mastectomy. Furthermore, no study addresses the influence of perceived body image and sexuality on the decision to have breast reconstruction or not. Methods The study will be conducted within a phenomenological and hermeneutical frame of reference. Data will be gathered through qualitative interviews with 12 women with mastectomies. Analyses and interpretation will follow Steinar Kvales levels of interpretation. Objectives The aim is to explore perceived body image and sexuality after having had mastectomy in the acute phase. Further, the aim is to focus on body image and sexuality as determinants for whether women choose reconstruction or not. Insight into women's perceived body image and sexuality is valuable to provide better quality nursing care to women treated with mastectomy and reconstruction. Results: It is expected that interviews, analysis and interpretation will be conducted in 2010.The results are expected to be edited and published in the beginning of 2011.