International recommendations for cancer control support the organization of breast cancer care with a multidisciplinary approach in Breast Units (BU). The BU of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) is a functional unit for breast cancer with oncologists, gynecologists, surgeons and cancer nurses specialized in for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring breast cancer patients. Pathologists and radiologists are also working with the BU. Several international guidelines include nurse as essential part of BU and defined their model of care, management and functions.
The objective is to describe care nurse model and activity of the Breast Unit in a cancer center.
Retrospective cross-sectional study. Population cancer patients attended at the BU of the ICO during 2016 to 2017 were included. Variables collected were socio-demographic, clinical - pathology and treatment and nursing interventions for patients. Data was extracted from the clinical record. Data analysis was descriptive using the statistical package SPSS v15.
Total of 382 patients. Nursing interventions in patients with early stage breast cancer were: 321 (98.85%) visits before the start of treatments; 322 (99.1%) visits during treatments; 230 (70.8%) visits after finishing treatments; 319 (98.2%) coordination activities for the continuity of care and 136 (14.8%) consultations and derivations to professionals of other services.
Nursing interventions in patients with advanced stage breast cancer: 32 (56.1%) visits before the start of treatments; 33 (57.9%) visits during treatments; 17 (29.8%) coordination activities for the continuity of care; and 12 (21.8%) consultations and derivations to professionals of other services.
According to this multidisciplinary model of care, patients with breast cancer in the early stages have a high level of clinical contacts with the nurse along the cancer care process. However, there is a high percentage of patients with advanced disease that could not benefit from an early and continued access to nurse.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Generalitat of Catalonia, Department of Health.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.