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Chemotherapy induced premature menopause in Latina women with breast cancer

Researcher
Maryellen Brisbois at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester
Study abstract

Adjuvant chemotherapy treatment is standard therapy for many women with early stage breast cancer but is associated with many late and long term effects including chemotherapy-induced premature menopause (CIPM). CIPM can cause both physiological and psychological effects that can impact a women’s quality of life. Despite their greater breast cancer burden, a lack of research in Latina women exists. The goal of this study is to understand the experience of Latina women with breast cancer related to CIPM in order to provide a theoretical foundation to ground future nursing interventions.

Specific Aims: 1.) Identify the problem that Latina women face when they experience chemotherapy-induced premature menopause resulting from breast cancer treatment; and, 2.) Describe how Latina women manage the problem of chemotherapy-induced premature menopause resulting from breast cancer treatment.

Naturalistic inquiry using Grounded theory (GT) method will be used for this study because little is known about CIPM in Latina women with breast cancer. The Glaserian approach to GT will be used for the purpose of generating explanatory theory with the potential to develop an understanding of the social and psychological phenomena experience of Latina women with CIPM. The researcher will exercise theoretical sensitivity by using the literature, professional, and personal experience of working with Latina women with breast cancer to be aware of the subtleties of the data. The researcher will be attentive to Glaser’s criteria for evaluating quality GT studies (fit, work, relevance, and modifiability). The sample will include a minimum of 20 Latina women from a variety of circumstances (length of time from diagnosis and treatment, degree of symptoms, and country of origin) to enhance theory development. Additionally, two participants will be recruited for serial interviews at 3 and 6 months following initial interview to describe the process of CIPM over time and increase trustworthiness with prolonged engagement.

Study review

This study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester is exploring the unique experiences and needs of Latina breast cancer survivors whose treatments have resulted in chemotherapy-induced menopause. The researchers wanted to enroll 20 volunteers. The Call to Action for this study was sent to Army of Women members on August 22, 2012. The researchers were able to close enrollment eight days later, on August 30, 2012, after the Army of Women provided them with 47 women who were interested in enrolling in the study.

Resulting Publications: