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Follow-up of breast cancer patients: Preliminary findings from nurse-patient consultations and patient surveys

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Author(s): Moyez Jiwa | Georgia Halkett | Kathleen Deas | Moira O’Connor | Jody Weir | Catherine O’Driscoll | Elizabeth O’Brien | Lisa Wilson | Sholeh Boyle

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Breast cancer | Follow up | preliminary findings | research

ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND:Although clinicians in both primary and tertiary care settings are involved in the care of breast cancer patientsfollowing the active treatment phase, few studies report how patients interact with health care providers.METHODS:Participants in this breast cancer follow-up study were recruited from a hospital based nurse-led follow-upclinic in Western Australia. Methods included audio taped, transcribed consultations with Specialist BreastNurses (SBNs) and patient self-completed surveys.RESULTS:Preliminary data suggest that SBNs play an important role in supporting women to deal with the impact ofbreast cancer in the years following active treatment. The data suggest that the process of adjustment to adiagnosis of cancer continues for many years after the treatment has ceased. In many cases the women requireon-going support to recalibrate their response to normal physical changes that may or may not be aconsequence of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.CONCLUSIONS:These preliminary data map the plethora of issues that influence cancer patients in the years followingtreatment. Women who were attending follow-up appointments for breast cancer experienced similar levels ofenablement following SBN consultations as would be expected from consultations with general practitioners.
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