The patient experience of radiotherapy for breast cancer: A qualitative investigation as part of the SuPPORT 4 All study.

PROBST, Heidi, ROSBOTTOM, Keeley, CRANK, Helen, STANTON, Andrew and REED, Heath (2020). The patient experience of radiotherapy for breast cancer: A qualitative investigation as part of the SuPPORT 4 All study. Radiography.

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Introduction: Breast cancer is a global health problem with 2.09 million cases of breast cancer diagnosed worldwide in 2018. With an increase in breast cancer survival attention has now focussed on the impact treatment side effects can have on the quality of life for women during survivorship. The aim of the SuPPORT 4 All project is to develop a support bra for use during radiotherapy, that can reduce normal tissue toxicity (for women with larger breasts) and provide accuracy, dignity and modesty for all women. The first stage of the project involved a co-design process to understand the current patient experience where no support bra or modesty device is used. Method: A participatory co-design methodology was adopted. Workshops were held with patient representatives (n ¼ 9) to seek understanding of experience during radiotherapy; a total of three workshops over 4 h. The workshops were audio recorded and framework analysis was adopted to identify key patient experiences. Results: Twelve categories and twenty-six sub categories were identified specific to patient experience. Patient concerns focussed on information provision, Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) knowledge of breast lymphoedema, lack of choice, experiences of being naked, and feelings of disempowerment. Conclusions: A number of areas were identified that had negative effects on overall patient experience. Implications for practice: Practitioners should consider patient dignity when configuring services to support patient needs regarding undressing, outside or inside the linear accelerator room. Additionally, practitioners should have an understanding of the impact permanent tattoos may have on some patients’ wellbeing and the impact that breast lymphoedema has on patient quality of life. Practitioners should also consider methods to encourage patient empowerment during radiotherapy; supporting patient selfmonitoring of side-effects may be one way to facilitate this.

Item Type: Article
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 13:47
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 21:48

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