Patients are living longer with recurrent breast cancer, yet there is a lack of survivorship programs for these individuals. They face unique challenges due to the lack of curative treatments and limited supportive care resources. Challenges include fluctuations in functional status, changes in relationships, communication with loved ones, and existential concerns. Health related quality of life has been found to be different, further widening the gap in care.
Survivors were referred for a one-hour coaching intervention tailored to their needs based upon results of their Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B) survey. Patient satisfaction was assessed immediately after and at two weeks post the intervention. A paired t-test was used to evaluate quality of life sores before and two weeks following participation in the survivorship session.
Statistically significant (p=.000) improvements were observed overall and in each subscale of the FACT-B survey. Patient satisfaction was high immediately post the intervention and remained high at the two-week assessment.
This project successfully demonstrated that an individual coaching intervention can be implemented to improve the quality of life in patients with recurrent breast cancer. The key findings support that integration of a survivorship program is associated with high patient satisfaction and increased quality of life. As chronic breast cancer survivors encompass a broad and heterogeneous population, survivorship programs should be developed that address the needs of this unique patient population. Creation of an infrastructure that promotes individualized care to survivors with recurrent breast cancer is an essential component of providing holistic care across the cancer continuum. Oncology nurse navigators have a unique relationship with their patients and implementing this program provides an opportunity to address these important and clinically relevant unmet needs.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Graduate scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice GSCNP-18-07501 from the American Cancer Society and a Clinical Doctoral Scholarship from the Oncology Nursing Foundation Endowment.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.