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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Jul;146(2):299-308. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-3022-7. Epub 2014 Jun 21.

Monitoring patient-centered outcomes through the progression of breast reconstruction: a multicentered prospective longitudinal evaluation.

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Department of Nursing, Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Research Center, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


Studies have shown that having breast reconstruction has a positive influence on patient satisfaction and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) at the conclusion of treatment. However, no study has critically evaluated changes to these patient-reported outcomes during the process of undergoing breast reconstruction. This study was to prospectively evaluate changes to patient-centered metrics through the progression of breast reconstruction. An IRB-approved prospective, multi-institutional study was performed for all patients undergoing breast reconstruction between 2009 and 2011. The Breast-Q reconstruction questionnaire was used for evaluation of HRQoL and was administered at five intervals in the perioperative period. Longitudinal evaluation was performed to assess changes to HRQoL metrics during this perioperative interval. One hundred and ten patients were enrolled, and 100 patients (91.9 %) completed appropriate follow-up. Preoperative HRQoL scores were higher in patients electing to forgo reconstruction (P < 0.004), while postoperative HRQoL scores consistently deteriorated at multiple time points following mastectomy as compared to reconstructed patients. On subgroup analysis, results indicated lower initial HRQoL scores in delayed reconstruction (P < 0.05) as compared to immediate reconstruction. These scores did, however, merge at approximately 9 months postoperatively. Changes to HRQoL outcomes occur through progression of breast reconstruction. Within the first year of surgery, early decreases are mirrored by significant increases at later time points above baseline levels when evaluating most forms of reconstruction. Choosing against reconstruction will likely result in continued deterioration of HRQoL for patients undergoing cancer surgery, but steady improvements can be expected if delayed reconstruction is chosen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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