Breast cancer patients' preferences for information: Different sources at different times?
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Introduction: Information given to breast cancer patients may not universally reduce anxiety and assist treament compliance. One possible reason could be that patient preferences for specific information sources may change over time.
Objectives: To compare breast cancer patients' preferred formats for receiving education about their disease and treatment soon after diagnosis versus about two years after that time.
Methods: An anonymous survey of 253 breast cancer patients' evaluations of alternative information formats was conducted within one month of diagnosis, and data were compared to those collected in a previous study from patients who were abut two years post-diagnosis.
Results: There were discrepancies between patients' ratings of, and preferences for, information format for preferences given by the present sample, as well as differences in patient preferences across the two studies (i.e., at different times post-diagnosis).
Discussion: Recency of diagnosis may have an effect upon patients' evaluations of information format, due to their memory limitations and elevated levels of anxiety and depression.
Conclusions: There is a need to tailor the format of information sources available to breast cancer patients according to time since diagnosis.
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This document has been peer reviewed.