The study explored the basis of the relatively low uptake of cervical screening and
practice of breast self-examination among New Zealand women. Consistent with an
interpretative approach to social phenomena it was anticipated that part of the explanation
would lie in the meanings which women attach to health in general and to these specific healthprotecti'()
Theoretical sampling was effected by semi-structured interviews with 45 women.
Transcripts of these interviews provided the substantive data which were then analysed by the
process of constant comparative analysis and other grounded theory strategies for analysis.
The concept of a health-protectix-..o paradox centred around the core-variable 'vigilanceharmonizing'
which was generated to reconcile the seeming inconsistencies within, and
between, individual women and their health protection practices. This conceptualization was
developed from the substantive data in order to provide a model designed to increase the
effectiveness of nursing interventions for this area. The model, by illuminating processes from
the client's perspective then can indicate those processes most suitable for incorporation in
effective health education measures designed to promote the uptake of cervical screening and
breast self-examination by women.
As an adjunct to the study, a breast cancer case history is presented which shows the
theory-in-use. The use of this case-history lies in the fact that it shares the substantive area of
inquiry which serves to accentuate the viability, relevance and applicability of the grounded