ARTICLESQuality of Life in Women With Breast Cancer A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICERustøen, Tone R.N., Ph.D.; Begnum, Susanne Dipl.Psych.Author Information Tone Rustøen is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing Education, Oslo University College, Norway. Susanne Begnum is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing Education, Oslo University College, Norway. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Tone Rustøen, Oslo University College Faculty of Nursing, Oslo College, Bjerregaardsgate 21, Postbox 86, N-0172 Oslo, Norway. Accepted for publication August 10, 2000. Cancer Nursing: December 2000 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 416-421 Buy Abstract This article discusses the gap between an ever-increasing interest in research on the quality of life in patients with breast cancer and the lack of impact this research has had in the actual care of these women. A critical review of the literature is used to answer the question of how much can be accepted as established knowledge despite the often methodologically weak studies and contradictory results. Deficiency in research studies is no rationale for not improving nursing care in areas wherein there is an expressed need for support and assistance. Nurses are in contact with patients who have breast cancer at all stages of the disease and treatment, because they meet the women in the hospital, at the outpatient clinic, and in their homes. They play an important role in meeting the needs of these women. Ways of improving nursing practice at the different stages of the illness, from the pretreatment phase to posttreatment follow-up assessment, are discussed, and concrete suggestions made. This article addresses the women’s need both for adequate information and for social and emotional support. © 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.