Gender role conflicts experienced by Indonesian women with gynecological cancer: A phenomenological study


gender role
qualitative research
role conflict
cancer survivors

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Ma’rifah, A. R., Afiyanti, Y., Djatmiko, W., Ruwaida, I., & Milanti, A. (2024). Gender role conflicts experienced by Indonesian women with gynecological cancer: A phenomenological study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 10(1), 78–86.
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Accepted for publication: 2024-01-13
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: Gynecological cancer and its treatments can lead to sexual problems, potentially disrupting the gender role performance of women. Sexuality and gender roles are context-specific, yet these issues remain unexplored in the Indonesian context.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the gender role conflicts experienced by Indonesian women having gynecological cancer.

Method: A qualitative design with a phenomenology approach was utilized in this study. Data were collected through individualized, face-to-face, in-depth interviews conducted from 1 April to 30 December 2022 with 22 women diagnosed with gynecological cancer who had undergone treatments at the Dharmais Cancer Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Three themes were developed: 1) challenges in fulfilling female gender roles after having cancer diagnosis and therapies, 2) emotional struggles related to gender role conflicts, and 3) efforts to cope with gender role conflicts.

Conclusion: The study sheds light on how sexual complications due to gynecological cancer and its treatments extend beyond physical issues.  A deeper layer of problems around sexual dysfunctions among gynecological cancer survivors is often rooted in traditional gender-role expectations. Nurses should have a comprehensive and contextual understanding of the unique experiences of women living with gynecological cancer to facilitate a positive adaptation to their cancer journey.

Supporting Agencies

This study was funded by a Grant of Hibah Publikasi Terindeks International (PUTI) Pascasarjana (Grant No.: NKB- 085/UN2.RST/HKP. 05.00/2023)


Copyright (c) 2024 Atun Raudotul Ma'rifah, Yati Afiyanti, Wisnu Djatmiko, Ida Ruwaida, Ariesta Milanti

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Authors’ Contributions

All authors contributed equally to this study according to ICMJE authorship criteria.

Data Availability

The data generated and analyzed in this article are available from the corresponding author.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing

There is nothing to declare.


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