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"Would a man smell a rose then throw it away?" Jordanian men's perspectives on women's breast cancer and breast health
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
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2013 (English)In: BMC Women's Health, ISSN 1472-6874, Vol. 13, 41- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy afflicting women, and the most common cancer overall in Jordan. A woman's decision to go for screening is influenced by her social support network. This study aims to explore Jordanian men's individual and contextual perspectives on women's breast cancer and their own role in the breast health of the females within their families. Methods: An explorative qualitative design was used to purposively recruit 24 married men aged 27 to 65 years (median 43 years) from four governorates in Jordan. Data in the form of interviews transcriptions was subjected to qualitative content analysis. Results: Three themes were identified: a) Supporting one's wife; b) Marital needs and obligations; c) Constrained by a culture of destiny and shame. The first theme was built on men's feelings of responsibility for the family's health and well-being, their experiences of encouraging their wives to seek health care and their providing counselling and instrumental support. The second theme emerged from men's views about other men's rejection of a wife inflicted by breast cancer, their own perceptions of diminished femininity due to mastectomy and their own concerns about protecting the family from the hereditary risk of breast cancer. The third theme was seen in men's perception of breast cancer as an inevitable act of God that is far away from one's own family, in associating breast cancer with improper behaviour and in their readiness to face the culture of Eib (shame). Conclusions: Jordanian men perceive themselves as having a vital role in supporting, guiding and encouraging their wives to follow breast cancer early detection recommendations. Breast health awareness campaigns could involve husbands to capitalize on family support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 13, 41- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211794DOI: 10.1186/1472-6874-13-41ISI: 000326395500001OAI: diva2:668858
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-02Bibliographically approved

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Wahlström, Rolf
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