Purpose: We aimed to explore the experiences of husbands of women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, highlighting their stressors and the resources they rely on to cope, in Kumasi, Ghana.
Method: An exploratory descriptive qualitative research design was adopted. Fifteen in-depth interviews with participants were conducted. After a participant’s written consent, we audio-recorded the interview sessions and transcribed them verbatim. We managed and analysed the data manually.
Result: The experiences of husbands as primary caregivers of their wives diagnosed with advanced breast cancer have been broadly categorized under two main themes: stressors and resources. The analyses revealed that the burdens associated with the husband’s primary caregiving roles threatened the marriage, their relationships with others, work, and finances. Regardless of the stressors, participants drew on a range of resources such as acceptance, marital obligation and commitment to marital vows, social support, and spirituality to cope.
Conclusion: The study is the first of our knowledge to explore the experiences of husbands acting as primary caregivers of their wives who are diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in Ghana. It revealed that they rely on specific resources to cope with the burdens associated with their role. Policies and programs aiming at assisting women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer to manage and cope with the disease should include the partners of the married ones by designing programs that help the husbands to understand the situation and adequately provide the care that promotes the quality of life of the husband, wife, and the family.
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- Advanced breast cancer