Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas.
Purpose:To describe the lived experience of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer using individual interviews.
Data sources:Eleven women who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer within the past five years were interviewed with open-ended guiding questions. The narrative responses were analyzed for constitutive patterns and relational themes according to Diekelmann and Allen's hermeneutic phenomenological process.
Conclusions:This phenomenological study gave voice to the women's experience with ovarian cancer. The following six constitutive patterns and associated themes emerged: (a) The Revelation, (b) Jeopardy, (c) On the Lookout, (d) Becoming Normal, and (e) Living Every Moment.
Implications for practice:An understanding of the common experiences and shared meanings of women with ovarian cancer may contribute to earlier diagnosis and improved quality of life. The women identified symptoms that should generate concern when reported to providers, potentially leading to diagnostic testing. The experiences may also serve to inform the development of interventions aimed at meeting the needs of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.