DOI: 10.12968/ijpn.2023.29.8.360 ISSN:

Role playing and interdependence among husbands of Iranian women after a mastectomy

Marzieh Beigom Bigdeli Shamloo, Nasrin Elahi, Marziyeh Asadi Zaker, Kourosh Zarea, Armin Zareian
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women.


To investigate the impact of breast cancer on the husbands of Iranian women.


A content analysis based on a Callista-Roy adaptation model was conducted on 23 patients with breast cancer and their husbands and therapists. After asking questions about coping with cancer through telephone interviews, the following subcategories were obtained: role play and interdependence. Data analysis was completed via the Elo and Kyngas approach.


Data analysis led to the production of 51 initial codes from participants' experiences. The category role-playing included three further sub-categories: primary role, secondary role and tertiary role. Independence/dependence problems included seven sub-categories: personal beliefs, love and heartfelt attachment, organised support, non-organised support, support failure, economic problems and dependence problems/independence.


Husbands of women who have had a mastectomy have to take on new roles in their life in order to care for their wife. Also, despite the financial, spiritual, psychological, and medical support that they receive, husbands still felt that the support was insufficient.

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