Information and support for older women with breast cancer
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Information and support for older women with breast cancer

Emma Blows Researcher, University of Nottingham
Jaime de Blas Lop Clinical research associate, PPD, Cambridge
Karen Scanlon Head of research and evaluation, Breast Cancer Care
Alison Richardson Clinical chair in cancer nursing and end of life care, University of Southampton and Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust
Emma Ream Professor of supportive cancer care, King’s College London

A study of women over the age of 65 sought to determine their experiences of follow-up care post-diagnosis and treatment. Emma Blows and colleagues report

Aim The aim of this study was to explore the information and support needs of older women with breast cancer, and to investigate the types of support they accessed to identify whether there is a role for voluntary organisations in meeting their needs.

Method Twelve women participated in either a focus group or a telephone interview.

Findings Hospital specialists and breast care nurses were valued sources of information and support. However, additional sources of information and support included family, friends and other women with breast cancer. Factors that influenced uptake of voluntary services included a desire to ‘get on’ with life and a lack of awareness about available services.

Conclusion Older women with breast cancer require better assessment of need and direction to appropriate services. Statutory and voluntary sectors should work together to improve awareness of available services.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 10, 3,31-37. doi: 10.7748/cnp2011.04.10.3.31.c8439

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

This article is based on work undertaken for the Better Access Better Services project, a collaboration between the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London and charity Breast Cancer Care. The project was funded by the UK government’s knowledge transfer partnerships. The funder had no influence on the findings or decision to submit for publication

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