The impact of mastectomy on social well-being (SWB) and family dynamics (FD) may involve the individual, social role and perception of the usefulness of social and family support affects. The purpose of the current study is to identify that impact and its related implications on SWB and FD.
This was a cross-sectional study in which a total of 173 female patients who had mastectomy in GS hospitals completed a face-to-face questionnaire designed by the researchers; which contains 3 sections including: socio-demographic data, SWB and FD. All measures utilized a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (worst outcome) to 5 (best outcome). The study was conducted at European Gaza Hospital (n = 60) and Alshifaa Hopsital (n = 113) in the GS from August 2015 to September 2016. The data was analyzed using SPSS software.
Among 173 female patients, the mean age was 51 years ± 10. About 91% were unemployed, 52% had low income and 73% were of low educational level. The overall SWB score was negatively affected by 44.2% (mean score= 2.21 ± 1.33). Seventy percent of patients had a financial impact and decreased home activities. Interestingly, 57.8% claimed that involvement in family activities was not affected after mastectomy. Shockingly, 95.4% of women worried of getting divorced due to their illness. The overall impact on FD is estimated to be by 49.2% (mean score= 2.46 ± 1.64). Surprisingly, the diagnosis of BC had an impact on sexual performance in 27.1% compared to 19.1% after mastectomy.
Improving patients’ quality of life should be one of the primary goals of BC treatment. Involving patient’s family in the process of medical care may promote their SWB and FD. However, the great fear of divorce found in this study, demonstrates the insecurity of women within the society of Gaza and is possibly an expression of the lack of security in the Gaza-Strip. Assessing and addressing the SWB and FD among BC patients may enhance providing a holistic medical care and further research in the future can help in implementing this.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Faculty of Medicine at the Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza-Strip, Palestine.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.