Emotional and informational needs of women experiencing outpatient surgery for breast cancer

Doreen E. Dawe, Lorna R. Bennett, Anne Kearney, Doreen Westera


This article reports a qualitative study about informational and emotional needs of women who had surgery for breast cancer on an outpatient basis. Nineteen women volunteered for the study. The interviews, lasting approximately 60 minutes, were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using content analysis outlined by Hsieh and Shannon (2005).

Findings are organized according to: 1) emotional and informational needs prior to and immediately after surgery; 2) emotional and informational supports while recovering at home; and 3) emotional responses to the outpatient surgery experience. Overall, women were satisfied with the experience of surgery for breast cancer on an outpatient basis, but there were several aspects that warrant closer attention, such as the amount and timing of information delivery, discharge care, and the need for consistent community nursing support and follow-up.

Key words: breast cancer, outpatient surgery, nursing care, emotional needs, informational needs

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