Endless Management of Mind and Body for Healing: The Process of Pursuing Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Patients with Breast Cancer

유방암 환자의 보완대체요법 추구 과정: 치유를 향한 끝없는 심신 다스리기

Tae, Young Sook;Kwon, Suhye;Lee, Young Sook;Bae, Ju Young

  • Received : 2015.08.25
  • Accepted : 2015.12.08
  • Published : 2015.12.31


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the experience of pursuing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in breast cancer patients. Methods: Ten women with breast cancer participated in the study. Data were collected through individual in-depth unstructured and individualized interviews with each participant from February to July, 2015. Theoretical sampling was used upto the point of theoretical saturation. Data were analyzed using Corbin & Strauss's grounded theory methodology. Results: Through open coding, 22 sub-categories, and 13 categories were identified. Analysis revealed that the core category was 'endless management of mind and body for healing', which consisted of four phases; exploring, applying, grasping, and integrating. Through this process, the participants utilized various action/interactional strategies such as 'dealing with information', 'trying out blindly', 'enduring volitionally', 'experiencing effects on mind and body,' and 'grasping one's own way.' The consequences of these strategies were integrating the habit of health remedy into one's life, becoming a main agent for change, and tolerating one's weak body. Conclusion: In-depth understanding of the CAM pursuing experiences of patients with breast cancer would guide clinical nurses and policy makers to develop effective interventions and policies for better supporting them with regard to the usage of CAM.


Breast neoplasms;Complementary medicine;Alternative medicine;Qualitative research


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