The information needs of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

K. A. Luker, K. Beaver, S. J. Leinster, R. G. Owens, L. F. Degner, J. A. Sloan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Nurses can play a key role in patient education, including providing patients with useful and appropriate information. Rather than focusing on the process of education or information giving by nurses, this study places emphasis on the content of that information by taking the patients' perspective and asking the patients themselves what particular types of information are perceived as important at a specific point in time. The aim of the study was to explore what particular types of information were important to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer; to enable nurses and other health care professionals to utilize their time as effectively as possible and provide a high-quality service to individuals in their care. Women with breast cancer (a mean of 2.5 weeks from diagnosis) were interviewed and asked to compare items of information. The items of information were presented in pairs and the women stated a preference for one item in that pair. Thirty-six pairs were presented in total. The analysis involved the use of a Thurstone scaling model, which allowed rank orderings, or profiles of information needs, to be developed, reflecting the perceived importance of each item. Information about the likelihood of cure, the spread of the disease and treatment options were perceived as the most important items of information at the time of diagnosis. Other information needs, in order of descending priority, included information about the risk to family, side-effects of treatments, impact on family, self-care, effect on social life and sexual attractiveness. Profiles of information needs were produced to take account of differences in age, level of education and social class.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-141
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995


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