What Do Older Patients with Early Breast Cancer Want to Know While Undergoing Adjuvant Radiotherapy?
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- Wong, J.JW., D’Alimonte, L., Angus, J. et al. J Canc Educ (2011) 26: 254. doi:10.1007/s13187-010-0188-5
The study aims to investigate the information needs and unique illness experiences of older women with early stage breast cancer. Breast cancer patients have expressed a high need for information to help them cope with their disease and treatment decision making. Satisfying information needs can also improve patient outcomes including perceptions of control, levels of distress, and psychological well-being. Focus groups and one patient interview were conducted investigating the informational needs of patients 70 years or older who were diagnosed with stage I breast cancer. Women identified their experiences and information needs related to diagnosis, participation in treatment decision making, treatment onset, and unexpected life changes. They provided several suggestions to healthcare professionals related to breast cancer treatment. The study’s findings increase our understanding of older breast cancer patients’ needs and provide a foundation for the development of a decision aid to help patients better understand their treatment options.