Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Catherine A. Georges

Subject Categories

Nursing | Religion


Adaptation; African American; Breast Cancer; Coping; Faith; Survivorship


The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the adaptation experience of African American women breast cancer survivors. The African American women's perception of the influence of faith on the breast cancer survivorship experience was explored.

This study utilized the directed qualitative content analysis method, which extracted themes and patterns that emerged in a narrative content. The 15 study participants were self-identified African American breast cancer survivors. The study was conducted using semi-structured interview questions that were derived from the modes of the Roy Adaptation Model (RAM). The discussion was framed within the context of the themes extracted from the transcript of interview responses underpinned by RAM. The qualitative content analysis resulted in the development of themes from the RAM Role Function and Self-Concept adaptive modes. Major themes included: providing guidance and encouragement, reflecting positivity, endurance and steadfast faith; and gratitude and ambition. The participant's coping mechanism through the regulator instinctive physiological processes and the cognator psychological and social coping process was also part of the discussion.

Findings from this study add to the nursing professions' knowledge of how faith can impact African American women breast cancer survivors' coping abilities and quality of life during the cancer survivorship experience. These findings can be applied in nursing education, research and practice.