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The sport of dragon boat racing as experienced by breast cancer survivors

The sport of dragon boat racing as experienced by breast cancer survivors
The sport of dragon boat racing as experienced by breast cancer survivors
For the increasing population of breast cancer survivors (BCS) in the United Kingdom, research evidence suggests that physical activity can address aspects of their unmet health and social care needs. In this exploratory study, members of one United Kingdom, Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Racing Team, were invited to tell the story of their participation in the sport, either in writing or in one-to-one, face-to-face, interviews, to gain an understanding of its impact on their breast cancer survivorship experiences. Eleven members were interviewed in their own homes and two in a location of their choosing. The interview process was guided by the Biographic-Narrative-Interpretive-Method (BNIM), and specifically the Single Question (aimed at Inducing Narrative) (SQUIN) (Wengraf 2001, p. 113). The stories were analysed using Frank’s three narrative types (Restitution, Chaos, Quest), and the ‘three facets’ framework (Frank 1995) for the analysis of quest narratives. The combination of the latter and storytelling as a methodology, in relation to DBR, appears to be unique to this study. The study was underpinned by the principles of practitioner research.

Unmet needs, of varying quantity and level of intensity, were the strongest motivators for joining the team. The results revealed that dragon boat racing positively impacted on the breast cancer survivors’ lives through; membership of an extended unique social support network, a new more positive identity as a breast cancer survivor and sportsperson, improved self-esteem and greater self-confidence, experiencing fun, joy, hope, as well as improved control over, and the amelioration of some upper body morbidities. The desire and opportunity to help others and to contribute to the legacy of DBR for future breast cancer survivors was also reported. The breast cancer survivors’ stories included chaos, restitution and quest narrative types (Frank 1995) – the most common of these being quest. The study illustrates, using the metaphor of the weave (Frank 1995), the breast cancer survivors’ constant movement between the three narrative types; this movement was often prompted by, what were interpreted as, five influential inspirations; Dragon Boat Racing (‘In the Boat’), Social Support/Social Support Networks, Competition Events, Team/Group Membership, Physical and Psychological changes. The use of a storytelling methodology reveals the way in which the experience of DBR is woven into the lives of breast cancer survivors and illuminates the ways in which multiple narratives shape the breast cancer survivorship experience as well as how these women coped with the negative consequences of the DBR experience. These results have implications for charities supporting DBR, including; ensuring members feel integrated within the team, maintaining safety and fitness routines, ensuring DBR remains affordable, facilitating participation in competition events and the education of the public.
University of Southampton
Milne, Mary
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Milne, Mary
bb96a333-fb9a-425e-9d43-5aefb7cd8ce8
Le May, Andree
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Brindle, Lucy
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Milne, Mary (2014) The sport of dragon boat racing as experienced by breast cancer survivors. University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 256pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

For the increasing population of breast cancer survivors (BCS) in the United Kingdom, research evidence suggests that physical activity can address aspects of their unmet health and social care needs. In this exploratory study, members of one United Kingdom, Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Racing Team, were invited to tell the story of their participation in the sport, either in writing or in one-to-one, face-to-face, interviews, to gain an understanding of its impact on their breast cancer survivorship experiences. Eleven members were interviewed in their own homes and two in a location of their choosing. The interview process was guided by the Biographic-Narrative-Interpretive-Method (BNIM), and specifically the Single Question (aimed at Inducing Narrative) (SQUIN) (Wengraf 2001, p. 113). The stories were analysed using Frank’s three narrative types (Restitution, Chaos, Quest), and the ‘three facets’ framework (Frank 1995) for the analysis of quest narratives. The combination of the latter and storytelling as a methodology, in relation to DBR, appears to be unique to this study. The study was underpinned by the principles of practitioner research.

Unmet needs, of varying quantity and level of intensity, were the strongest motivators for joining the team. The results revealed that dragon boat racing positively impacted on the breast cancer survivors’ lives through; membership of an extended unique social support network, a new more positive identity as a breast cancer survivor and sportsperson, improved self-esteem and greater self-confidence, experiencing fun, joy, hope, as well as improved control over, and the amelioration of some upper body morbidities. The desire and opportunity to help others and to contribute to the legacy of DBR for future breast cancer survivors was also reported. The breast cancer survivors’ stories included chaos, restitution and quest narrative types (Frank 1995) – the most common of these being quest. The study illustrates, using the metaphor of the weave (Frank 1995), the breast cancer survivors’ constant movement between the three narrative types; this movement was often prompted by, what were interpreted as, five influential inspirations; Dragon Boat Racing (‘In the Boat’), Social Support/Social Support Networks, Competition Events, Team/Group Membership, Physical and Psychological changes. The use of a storytelling methodology reveals the way in which the experience of DBR is woven into the lives of breast cancer survivors and illuminates the ways in which multiple narratives shape the breast cancer survivorship experience as well as how these women coped with the negative consequences of the DBR experience. These results have implications for charities supporting DBR, including; ensuring members feel integrated within the team, maintaining safety and fitness routines, ensuring DBR remains affordable, facilitating participation in competition events and the education of the public.

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More information

Published date: October 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372912
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372912
PURE UUID: f09c9392-a140-44da-a094-ac5ae906f076
ORCID for Lucy Brindle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8933-3754

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Jan 2015 13:05
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:41

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Contributors

Author: Mary Milne
Thesis advisor: Andree Le May
Thesis advisor: Lucy Brindle ORCID iD

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