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Br J Cancer. 2006 Sep 18;95(6):667-73.

Meeting the support and information needs of women with advanced breast cancer: a randomised controlled trial.

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Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Andrews Place, Locked Bag 1, A'Beckett Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 8006, Australia.


Addressing psychosocial and quality of life needs is central to provision of excellent care for people with advanced cancer. This study tested a brief nurse-delivered intervention to address the needs of urban women with advanced breast cancer. This study was conducted at four large urban hospitals in Australia. One hundred and five women with advanced breast cancer were recruited and randomised to receive the intervention or usual care, then asked to complete the European Organisation of Research and Treatment of Quality of life Q-C30 version (2.0) (EORTC Q-C30) (version 2) and Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) at 1 month and 3 months postrecruitment. No significant differences were detected between intervention and usual care groups in the SCNS or the EORTC Q-C30 subscale scores. However, when the groups were divided into high needs (score of above 50) and low baseline needs (score of 50 or below) for each SCNS subscale, a significant difference between intervention and usual care groups was found in the psychological/emotional subscale among women with high baseline needs. In conclusions, this study demonstrated that a face-to-face session and follow-up phone call with a breast care nurse significantly reduced the psychological and emotional needs of those with high initial needs. There was no evidence of the intervention influencing the quality of life; or perceived needs of women with low initial psychological/emotional needs or perceived needs in other domains. Possibly, the intervention was not sufficiently intense to achieve an effect.

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