Nearly 7,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Sweden every year. The primary treatment is surgical and consists mainly of partial or modified radical mastectomy followed by adjuvant treatment. The diagnosis and treatment may cause distress and decreased health-related quality of life.
The aim of the present report was to study health-related quality of life and satisfaction with hospital stay.
One hundred women were invited to participate in the study, of which 85 accepted. Participants filled in the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey and a study-specific questionnaire, both preoperatively and postoperatively and 6 months after surgery.
Women with breast cancer experienced an improved health-related quality of life over time, but they reported poorer health-related quality of life than the norm value after surgery. The lowest scores at all time points were observed on the scales role-physical and role-emotional. Patients were very satisfied with the treatment and care they had received. Three of 4 women felt that the nursing staff had a considerate and conscientious manner, for example, when removing drains.
Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer have impact on the women's health-related quality of life. Measures to meet patients' needs during short hospitalization need to be considered.
Implications for Practice:
Nurses must ensure that patient's physical and emotional needs are identified and met and that appropriate counseling is provided.