A qualitative study of women's experiences of healthcare, treatment and support for metastatic breast cancer

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this qualitative research was to identify the healthcare, information and support needs of women living with metastatic breast cancer. Materials and methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 18 women. Women were asked about their experiences of living with metastatic breast cancer and their information and support needs. Results: Women valued relationships with their healthcare professionals, particularly their oncologists. They wanted more attention paid to side-effects of ongoing treatments, which had a negative impact on their health. While oncologists were a primary source of information, women also drew on other sources. There were mixed findings about the value of support groups, with women preferring to seek alternative sources of social support. Conclusion: A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer brings heightened reliance on healthcare professionals to respond to women's needs in a way that is different to that required with a diagnosis of early breast cancer.

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Lewis, S., Yee, J., Kilbreath, S., & Willis, K. (2015). A qualitative study of women’s experiences of healthcare, treatment and support for metastatic breast cancer. Breast, 24(3), 242–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2015.02.025

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