247435 Decision making about early stage breast cancer treatment among rural women

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:30 AM

Nancy L. Fahrenwald, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Background: This study targets an access to health care concern for an underserved population of rural women with stage I and II breast cancer. For women with these cancers, breast conserving therapy and mastectomy have similar survival and quality of life outcomes. Despite these similar outcomes, there are fewer rural women who choose breast-conserving therapy over mastectomy when compared to their urban counterparts.. The purpose is to discover the factors that influenced early stage breast cancer treatment decisions for rural women. Methods: A descriptive survey research design was used to answer the question: “What factors influenced the breast cancer treatment decision for rural women with early stage breast cancer?” Participants: Rural and non-rural dwelling women (designated by zip code classification) who reside in a Northern Plains state of the US and were diagnosed with stage I and II breast cancer in the past five years. Results: Decision making about breast cancer treatment for rural women is influenced by geographic distance to radiation facilities, availability of social support and perceived monetary and time costs associated with type of treatment. Conclusions: Rural women differ from their urban counterparts in their decision making about breast cancer treatment and decision support interventions are needed to support them in their decision making.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the known factors that affect cancer treatment options for rural dwellers. 2. List the factors that influence cancer treatment decisions for rural women with early stage breast cancer.

Keywords: Rural Populations, Breast Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in cancer decision making and I am a rural public health nurse by background.
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.