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Concerns, coping and the electronic holistic needs assessment: experiences of UK breast cancer survivors

Briggs, Lydia; Cooper, Joanne; Cox, Karen; Blake, Holly

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Lydia Briggs

Joanne Cooper

Karen Cox

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Professor of Behavioural Medicine


Background: Physical and psychological concerns associated with a breast cancer diagnosis continue long after treatment. Macmillan Cancer Support developed an electronic Holistic Needs Assessment (eHNA) to help identify these concerns and allow a healthcare professional to address these as part of The Recovery Package.
Aims: The study aim was to understand the women’s experiences of having breast cancer, and of completing Macmillan’s eHNA as part of their care.
Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with fifteen women, 12-18 months following surgical treatment for invasive breast cancer. Thematic analysis identified key themes.
Results: Four main themes were identified in relation to: experiences of the eHNA, experiences of breast cancer, coping with breast cancer and the psychological effects of surviving. Perceptions towards the eHNA varied; some women viewed the eHNA as a research tool for hospital use rather than a beneficial aspect of their care. Several participants felt unable to raise their psychological concerns on the eHNA.
Conclusions: Although experiences differ, psychological issues remain a key factor for women with breast cancer, lasting long after treatment. The eHNA is not currently used to its potential, or recognised by women as a tool to support their care. Further research is needed into how the eHNA can be used effectively to capture psychological concerns and determine best approaches to implementation of the tool to support individualised care.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 4, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 10, 2019
Publication Date Apr 10, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 13, 2019
Journal Journal of Research in Nursing
Print ISSN 1744-9871
Electronic ISSN 1744-988X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords qualitative, breast cancer, holistic needs assessment, survivorship, unmet needs
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