Telephone Follow Up After Treatment For Breast Cancer

1585 words - 6 pages

Telephone Follow-Up After Treatment for Breast Cancer: Views and Experiences of Patients and Specialist Breast Care Nurses

Identifying the Phenomenon
This essay focuses on the views of patients and specialist breast care nurses (BCN) on telephone follow-up after treatment for breast cancer. The problem in this article is whether or not the telephone follow-up is an effective alternate form of follow-up treatment for breast cancer patients compared to routine hospital appointment follow-ups. This phenomenon is a continuation of broader research previously carried out on the subject. The article affirms from previous research that, "telephone follow-up by BCN's (Breast Cancer Nurses) for women who had completed treatment for breast cancer demonstrated that patients had higher levels of satisfaction, but did not have higher levels of anxiety as a result of foregoing clinical examination and face-to-face appointments" (Beaver, Williamson, & Chalmers, 2010, p. 2917). Research demonstrated that "there were no differences between the telephone and hospital groups in term of time to the detection of recurrent disease" (Beaver, Williamson, & Chalmers, 2010, p. 2917).

The intent of this study was to contrast standard hospital follow-up by a physician with telephone follow-up by a specialized breast care nurse and identify which intervention received the greatest patient overall satisfaction. The study is especially relevant in nursing practice, as it highlights the importance of patient-centered care. By determining the intervention that provides the most satisfaction among patients, the quality of care improves and the respect, preference, needs, and values of the patient are met.

This study utilized a qualitative design to interpret the outlook of breast cancer nurses and patients on the use of telephone follow-up and collected data through "semi-structured" interviews (Beaver, Williamson, & Chalmers, 2010, p. 2918). The interviews were audio-recorded, written down, and dissected through the use of content analysis. More specifically, the "semi-structured" interviews included a partially structured format to assist researchers in providing a "relaxed conversational style" and in addressing significant aspects like patients' views of attending hospital clinics, likes and dislikes regarding telephone follow-up appointments, and feelings on the importance of follow up care for breast cancer remission, etc. (Beaver, Williamson, & Chalmers, 2010, p. 2918). With regards to the use of content analysis, researchers utilized interview transcripts, reviewed using "line by line" analysis numerous times, and identified themes within the data. Researchers clustered the common themes from the data and drew conclusions based on the information.
Overall, the method utilized paralleled with the purpose of the study and proved successful in acquiring reliable data.

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