Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify the concerns of postmenopausal breast cancer patients in Ireland and inform the development of a survivorship care plan.
Method: A qualitative participatory approach was used. Focus group interviews (n=6) with 51 women were undertaken. Following analysis of the focus group discussions, two nominal group technique (NGT) (consensus workshops) involving representatives (n=17) from each of the six focus groups were held.
Results: Ten key issues were highlighted by women in the focus groups and these were prioritised at the consensus workshops. The most important issues in survivorship care planning prioritised by the women were as follows: meet the same healthcare professional at each review visit; contact number of a named person that you can contact if you have any concerns between review visits; at each review visit, have a physical examination and blood tests and explanation from HC professional outlining if follow up scans needed and if not, why not; information on signs and symptoms of recurrence; advice on diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle and advice on coping and pacing yourself; information and management of side effects of therapy-long and short term.
Survivorship care planning for breast cancer which are developed and agreed by women is generally in its infancy. There is a lack of consensus regarding its provision and a lack of structured approach to its implementation. This study demonstrates the role of postmenopausal breast cancer patients involvement in identifying their needs and reports that continuity of care was their top priority and the need for an adoption of a survivorship care plan was emphasised by participants.