J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2010 May;17(2):187-199.

Experiences of Sexual Life of Korean Women with Breast Cancer: Descriptions from Focus Groups and Interviews

  • 1College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, University of Ulsan, Korea. sonhm@mail.ulsan.ac.kr


The purpose
of this study was to describe experiences of sexual life among Korean women with breast cancer.
Data were collected by focus group and individual tape-recorded interviews. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Participants were 13 women who had stage I, II, or III breast cancer. Four major categories were discovered. "Not interested in sexual life at all" in which participants described their struggle to live while avoiding sexual life during initial stages of disease. "Sexual life that could not go back to previous normal life" in which participants described how they began to recognize many problems related to their sexual life resulting from the loss of femininity and pain during intercourse. "Dangerous marriage due to no sexual life" in which participants illustrated how no or unsatisfactory sexual life threatened their entire marriage and family life. Finally, "rediscovery of sexual life as a vital element in life" in which participants described how, with support from their spouse, they came to realize that sexual life was an important and vital part of their life.
The results of this study could help in developing-educational programs to improve sexual well-being of women with breast cancer and their spouses.


Breast neoplasms; Sexuality; Focus groups
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