Purpose: Breast self-examination
(BSE) may be beneficial for women with a BRCA1
mutation. Therefore, these women are often advised to perform BSE. However, only 20% to 35% is performing BSE monthly, and proficiency levels are low. Recently diagnosed carriers are educated by a specially trained clinical nurse specialist
(CNS) on how to perform BSE, as part of the yearly surveillance
. Clinical nurse
specialists are already commonly involved in breast cancer
care. However, CNSs are not yet involved in the counseling of BRCA
mutation carriers. The aim of this RCT was 2-fold: (1) to evaluate the feasibility of CNS-led BSE education
(based on the Health Belief Model
) as part of BRCA surveillance
and (2) to evaluate the effects and feasibility of additional written information leaflets concerning BSE.
Thirty-seven female BRCA1
mutation carriers were randomized into the intervention or control group. Women in both groups were educated about BSE by a specially trained CNS during the yearly visit to the outpatient clinic. The intervention group received additional written BSE instructions. After 3 months, 29 patients filled out a questionnaire, covering demographic characteristics, BSE behavior, and patient satisfaction.
The BSE frequencies did not significantly differ between both groups. A significant increase in the self-reported frequency of BSE after CNS-led education
< .001) was shown. Before the education
, the main reason for not performing BSE was that women had felt unable to perform BSE (42.9%). Patient satisfaction with the CNS-led education
CNS–led BSE education
is feasible for the yearly breast surveillance
mutation carriers. In addition, a leaflet was shown to be useful as an additional source of information for patients.
These results indicate that it is feasible to involve a CNS in the yearly surveillance
mutation carriers, which could be a solution for the continuous increased demand for care, while providing continuing high-quality care.