The impact on Australian women of lack of choice of breast reconstruction options: A qualitative study.
Psychooncology. 2019 Jan 08;:
Authors: Flitcroft KL, Brennan ME, Spillane AJ
BACKGROUND: Many studies have demonstrated the positive impact of breast reconstruction (BR) on women following mastectomy for breast cancer. However, womenꞋs preferences for BR are not always considered by surgeons prior to mastectomy. The aim of this research is three-fold: to document the negative impact lack of choice has had on some Australian women; to explore potential reasons for the absence of informed discussion; and to develop a prompt list of discussion topics to aid informed decision-making.
METHODS: This research is part of a larger study using semi-structured telephone or face-to-face interviews with women with breast cancer, surgeons and health professionals to explore ways of improving access to BR. This article focuses on responses from all 22 women who reported negative BR experiences and seven of 31 surgeons who had made comments relevant to limiting BR discussion and choice.
RESULTS: The impact of a lack of information or choice at the time of mastectomy was often extreme and long-term. Breast surgeons are the gate-keepers to accessing BR but too often appeared to limit womenꞋs choices. Interviews revealed cases where BR was not offered prior to mastectomy, even though it was available locally; where BR was not available locally, but patients were not informed about BR options available in other locations; where only delayed BR options were discussed; and where the type of BR being offered did not match patient preferences.
CONCLUSION: We have suggested essential BR discussion points to be raised with all clinically eligible women interested in considering BR.
PMID: 30620117 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]