The role of the breast care nurse during treatment for early breast cancer: the patient's perspective

Georgia Halkett, Paul Arbon, Sheila Scutter, Martin Borg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer require the support of a range of people during their treatment. Although the role of the breast care nurse in providing support has recently been investigated in several Australian studies the patients' perspective on the role of the breast care nurse in Australian hospitals has not previously been described in detail. The aim of this paper is to explore patients' perspectives on the role of the breast care nurse. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 18 women who had completed treatment for early breast cancer. The women were asked to describe their experiences from the time of diagnosis through to treatment completion. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. FINDINGS: Breast cancer patients repeatedly emphasised the importance of the role of their breast care nurses throughout their experience of breast cancer. The support that breast care nurses provided incorporated the following components: communication, rapport and an awareness of the women's needs, availability, reassurance and practical information. CONCLUSION: This study provides an understanding of women's perspectives on the role of breast care nurses and confirms that breast care nurses play an important support role during the experience of early breast cancer. Oncology clinics should focus on ensuring that all women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have adequate access to the support that breast care nurses are able to provide.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-57
    Number of pages12
    JournalContemporary Nurse
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006

    Keywords

    • breast cancer
    • breast care nurse
    • hermeneutic phenomenology
    • in-depth interviewing

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