Information needs and preferences of women as they proceed through radiotherapy for breast cancer
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Objective. While radiotherapy is commonly employed in the treatment of breast cancer, many women know little about treatment and experience treatment related anxiety. The aims of this study were to: Prioritise breast cancer patients’ radiotherapy related information needs and concerns; determine unmet information needs; ascertain which information sources patients prefer to receive; and explore whether information provision reduces anxiety and depression. Methods. A longitudinal survey was administered at four time points: after initial consultation with radiation oncologist, after the planning appointment, within first week of treatment and after treatment completion. Data was analysed using generalised estimating equations.Results. 123 women participated. Women were most concerned about the impact treatment would have on their health in the future. Women identified high information needs prior to treatment planning and commencing treatment. Women's anxiety at baseline (mean = 6.07, SD = 3.89) did not significantly drop until after treatment commencement (mean = 5.33, SD = 4.15). Conclusion. This study demonstrates that women's information needs and anxiety levels are high until treatment commencement. Clinical implications In order to reduce patients’ psychological distress, information needs and concerns we recommend that a greater focus is placed on providing information to patients prior to treatment planning and prior to treatment.
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Protocol for the RT Prepare Trial: a multiple-baseline study of radiation therapists delivering education and support to women with breast cancer who are referred for radiotherapyHalkett, Georgia; O'Connor, Moira; Aranda, S.; Jefford, M.; Spry, N.; Shaw, T.; Moorin, Rachael; Schofield, P. (2014)Introduction There is limited evidence to guide the preparation of patients for radiotherapy. This paper describes the protocol for an evaluation of a radiation therapist led education intervention delivered to patients ...
"If we get too close to your bones they'll go brittle": women's initial fears about radiotherapy for early breast cancerHalkett, Georgia; Kristjanson, Linda; Lobb, Elizabeth (2008)Abstract Introduction: Radiotherapy is a common treatment for breast cancer. However, previous studies have shown that women who present for radiotherapy fear its use and associated side effects. The aims of this study ...
Pilot randomised controlled trial of a radiation therapist-led educational intervention for breast cancer patients prior to commencing radiotherapyHalkett, Georgia; O'Connor, Moira; Aranda, S.; Jefford, M.; Shaw, Therese; York, D.; Spry, Nigel; Taylor, M.; Schofield, P. (2013)PURPOSE Although patients receive information prior to commencing radiotherapy, they often experience anxiety and distress. We conducted a pilot randomised controlled trial to determine whether a radiation therapist led ...