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Impact of sociocultural factors on appraisal and help-seeking behaviour among Ghanaian women with breast cancer symptoms

Impact of sociocultural factors on appraisal and help-seeking behaviour among Ghanaian women with breast cancer symptoms
Impact of sociocultural factors on appraisal and help-seeking behaviour among Ghanaian women with breast cancer symptoms
Breast cancer is a disease that continues to rise across the world, and it is now the leading cause of death among Ghanaian women. Currently, an estimated 85% of new breast cancer patients are diagnosed at advanced stages, resulting from delay in seeking modern medical help. Although it is generally acknowledged that early detection and treatment of breast cancer improves survival, it is unclear why the majority of Ghanaian women take longer to present symptoms than those in Western world. The aims of this study are; to ascertain how specific sociocultural issues influence Ghanaian women’s appraisal of breast cancer symptoms, the meaning they ascribed to those symptoms, the significance of this experience on their timing and choice of healthcare utilisation, and whether these factors are different in Ghana from those identified in Western countries.

A qualitative design involving purposive sampling was used to recruit 35 patients awaiting their first medical consultation at two healthcare facilities in Ghana, 27 members of the patients’ social networks, and eight healthcare professionals. The interviews were face-to-face audio recorded, semi-structured, and participants completed a demographic questionnaire. Additionally, field notes and a reflective diary were kept as supportive data. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify relevant themes. A computer software package was used for data management.

The study found four main influential factors that contributed to late presentation within the sample; these are patients’ sociocultural backgrounds, specific manifestation of breast cancer signs, patients’ emotional responses towards those signs and symptoms, and existing healthcare system. The study has deepened the understanding of appraisal and help-seeking behaviour of Ghanaian women who discovered breast cancer symptoms. These insights would assist healthcare professionals to implement interventions capable of encouraging early symptom detection and presentation for modern medicine treatment.
University of Southampton
Wiafe, Seth Agyei
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Wiafe, Seth Agyei
749b664c-76c8-41c0-9703-5397ee565927
Lathlean, Judith
98a74375-c265-47d2-b75b-5f0f3e14c1a9
Wagland, Richard
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Wiafe, Seth Agyei (2017) Impact of sociocultural factors on appraisal and help-seeking behaviour among Ghanaian women with breast cancer symptoms. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 298pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Breast cancer is a disease that continues to rise across the world, and it is now the leading cause of death among Ghanaian women. Currently, an estimated 85% of new breast cancer patients are diagnosed at advanced stages, resulting from delay in seeking modern medical help. Although it is generally acknowledged that early detection and treatment of breast cancer improves survival, it is unclear why the majority of Ghanaian women take longer to present symptoms than those in Western world. The aims of this study are; to ascertain how specific sociocultural issues influence Ghanaian women’s appraisal of breast cancer symptoms, the meaning they ascribed to those symptoms, the significance of this experience on their timing and choice of healthcare utilisation, and whether these factors are different in Ghana from those identified in Western countries.

A qualitative design involving purposive sampling was used to recruit 35 patients awaiting their first medical consultation at two healthcare facilities in Ghana, 27 members of the patients’ social networks, and eight healthcare professionals. The interviews were face-to-face audio recorded, semi-structured, and participants completed a demographic questionnaire. Additionally, field notes and a reflective diary were kept as supportive data. Thematic analysis was conducted to identify relevant themes. A computer software package was used for data management.

The study found four main influential factors that contributed to late presentation within the sample; these are patients’ sociocultural backgrounds, specific manifestation of breast cancer signs, patients’ emotional responses towards those signs and symptoms, and existing healthcare system. The study has deepened the understanding of appraisal and help-seeking behaviour of Ghanaian women who discovered breast cancer symptoms. These insights would assist healthcare professionals to implement interventions capable of encouraging early symptom detection and presentation for modern medicine treatment.

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Published date: February 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418069
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418069
PURE UUID: 28705968-061e-4668-80d4-af913fc0ca9f
ORCID for Richard Wagland: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1825-7587

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Date deposited: 21 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 19 Jun 2019 00:32

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