, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 270-276
Date: 22 Dec 2010

Preoperative Patient Education for Breast Reconstruction: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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Abstract

This study aims to assess the current state of patient educational tools available for the purposes of educating women about postmastectomy breast reconstruction. A systematic review of the English language literature was conducted between the years 1966 and 2009 of all studies pertaining to the use of educational materials for breast reconstruction. MEDLINE, CINAHAL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and the Science Citation Index were searched. Only studies that both employed and evaluated a patient educational tool in the setting of postmastectomy reconstruction were selected for review. Qualifying studies were then evaluated with respect to their study design, sample size, and outcome measure evaluated. Each educational tool identified was similarly evaluated with respect to its development process, content, and educational medium. A total of 497 articles were retrieved. Of these, only seven met our inclusion criteria. These publications evaluated a total of seven educational tools. Among them were employed various mediums including written, visual, and audio materials. Detailed review revealed that the development of only one educational program included an educational needs assessment. Only two of the seven studies identified evaluated the efficacy of their educational tool using a randomized controlled trial study design. Outcome measures evaluated varied among the studies identified and included: knowledge gains (n = 4), the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision to undergo reconstruction (n = 3), satisfaction with decision regarding reconstruction (n = 1), decisional conflict (n = 3), and type of reconstruction (n = 3). This review highlights the need for well-designed, methodologically sound research into patient education regarding breast reconstruction. Such information is invaluable in developing patient education programs and decision aids that aim at patient empowerment.