Ahern, T., Gardner, A. & Courtney, M. (2014). Geographical comparisons of information and support needs for Australian women following the primary treatment of breast cancer : A 10-year replication study. Health Expectations, 1-15. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12242
Background: In 2002, Raupach and Hiller examined the use of and satisfaction with information and support following treatment of breast cancer from a sample of participants in South Australia. In 2013 this study was replicated to include participants Australia wide and analyse comparisons based on geographical location. Statistical comparisons with the original study were also conducted.
Design: A 10 year replication study using a cross-sectional needs analysis survey.
Setting and participants: Women aged 18+ years diagnosed with breast cancer between 6 and 30 months ago were sourced from two national databases of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Results: A total of 325 participants completed the survey. The Internet was the most commonly used source of information with 70% (n = 229 of 325) of women using the internet for information, a statistically significantly higher percentage compared with the 2002 study. The study found the top four information issues rated as moderately/extremely important by women in 2013 were identical in 2002. A comparison of sources of support used showed that women in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were statistically more likely to use the breast care nurse (BCN) for support (P = 0.044).
Conclusions: The study provides useful, up-to-date data about information and support services used by Australian women with breast cancer. Comparisons with the earlier study show some of the needs of women have changed over time, but others have remained the same. Geographic comparisons overall, demonstrate many consistent findings regardless of location, however, the important work of the breast care nurse is an area in need of further research.
Open Access Journal Article