'Goblins left dirt in my birth canal’: Perceived Cultural Beliefs on the Causes and Meaning Making among Women with Cervical Cancer in Zimbabwe

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Julia Mutambara
Tholene Sodi
Matore Sandra
James January

Abstract

This qualitative inquiry sought to understand the meanings that patients with cervical cancer give to their illness as well as their perception of non-medical causes of the condition. An interpretive phenomenological research design was adopted where twelve patients living with cervical cancer attending two medical institutions were purposively sampled on their first visit. The researchers used in-depth interviews to collect information from the participants. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data. Results revealed the following themes that explain what cancer meant to women: strengthening of their relationship with God, traditional meanings, and the drive to make things right in the present. The perceived causes that were reported by the study participants were centred around witchcraft and contamination by evil creatures. The study has implications for those who offer psychotherapy and counselling for women with cervical cancer in this population.

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How to Cite
Mutambara, J., Sodi, T., Sandra, M., & January, J. (2016). ’Goblins left dirt in my birth canal’: Perceived Cultural Beliefs on the Causes and Meaning Making among Women with Cervical Cancer in Zimbabwe. Alternation Journal, (18), 99-117. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1356
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Author Biographies

Julia Mutambara, Midlands State University

juliamutambara@gmail.com

Tholene Sodi, University of Limpopo

Sodit@ul.ac.za

Matore Sandra, Midlands State University

Alessy06@gmail.com

James January, University of Zimbabwe

jamesj@medsch.uz.ac.zw