Victoria Jayde

PhD candidate

The experience of ovarian cancer for women, partners and adult children.


Supervisors : Maureen Boughton & Penny Blomfield


Introduction:

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal form of gynaecological cancer and is the fifth most common cause of death from cancer in women worldwide.
Most of the literature addressing the psychosocial issues of ovarian cancer for women is based on the experiences of Canadian, American and/or British women. It is not known whether these experiences are similar to those of Australian women, as there is a scarcity of literature exploring the experiences of Australian women with ovarian cancer. Notably, the only two Australian studies which specifically examine the experience of women with ovarian cancer, do so from the perspective of recurrence.

Aims:

The aims of this study are to explore the questions:
What is the experience of ovarian cancer for Australian women with a primary diagnosis of the disease?
What is the experience of ovarian cancer for partners and adult children of women with the disease?

Methodology:

A qualitative approach is appropriate to investigate this topic. Specifically, phenomenology is being used to guide the research process since ‘The goal of phenomenological inquiry is to fully describe lived experience …’
Participants are being recruited throughout Australia. Data is being collected via in-depth digitally recorded (face-to-face or telephone) interviews with participants during any phase of the cancer journey. The data will be analysed using van Manen’s method of interpretive phenomenology as a guide.

Significance

The proposed research will contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding the disease by providing:

  1. Australian women with a primary diagnosis of ovarian cancer;
  2. Partners of women who have or have had ovarian cancer; and
  3. Adult children of women who have or have had ovarian cancer

with the opportunity to elucidate their experiences and to highlight issues of significance to them. It is hoped that findings from the study will enhance insight into the experience of the disease. Findings from the study have the potential to facilitate the provision of optimal health care to those whose lives are affected by the cancer.