246624 Closing the gap: Results from a national survey of breast cancer survivors regarding breast reconstruction options and health education resources

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:30 PM

Ivy Ahmed, MPH, MCHES , Education and Outreach, Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC
Erica Weiss, MPH , The Wellness Community-National, Washington, DC
Natalie Haskins, MAT , Education and Awareness, Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC
Allison Harvey, MPH, CHES , Education & Outreach, Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC
Marni Amsellem, PhD , Education and Outreach, Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC
Each year, women with breast cancer (active or post-treatment) are faced with decisions about breast reconstruction. A review of available resources indicates a limited amount of thorough and comprehensive information available on this topic. Guided by Social-Cognitive Theory, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) conducted a national survey of breast cancer survivors to better understand women's information-seeking experiences and knowledge about breast reconstruction options. 840 U.S. female breast cancer survivors (762 eligible for breast reconstruction) participated in the survey online or by paper-and-pencil in 2010. The survey queried participants about their diagnosis, treatment, and experience with reconstruction. In addition, women rated experiences in searching for and receiving information about options and realistic expectations for breast reconstruction. Over 40% reported their healthcare team did not speak with them about reconstruction at diagnosis. Women who received this information reported it to be somewhat (35.1%) or extremely (55.5%) useful. Aside from their healthcare team, 60% of women sought information about reconstruction from other women with breast cancer and 50% from the Internet. Other responses suggest gaps in information with regard to establishing realistic expectations about the procedures and outcomes, providing comprehensive information at various points throughout the process, and across various treatment options. Findings offer a unique insight into the often challenging health information seeking process. Survey results informed the development of a new national education program, Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction, which seeks to increase self efficacy through education about and building communications skills in the decision making process.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe key components of a successful empowerment program addressing breast reconstruction options for women diagnosed with breast cancer. 2. Explain the need for new breast reconstruction education resources and tools to build self efficacy for women diagnosed with breast cancer. 3. Discuss the significance of providing comprehensive breast reconstruction information to women at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Keywords: Cancer, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I managed the development and delivery of the national survey. I oversaw the development and ongoing implementation of the patient education program created using these survey results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.