Timing and Mode of Breast Care Nurse Consultation From the Patient’s Perspective

Janie Brown

Gay Refeld

Alannah Cooper

breast care nurse, consultation, risk reduction, mastectomy, preoperative period
ONF 2018, 45(3), 389-398. DOI: 10.1188/18.ONF.389-398

Objectives: To understand what, if any, differences exist in the perception of a breast care nurse (BCN) consultation between women who experienced a preoperative, face-to-face counseling and education opportunity with a BCN, and those who required a telephone consultation or were unable to experience a preoperative BCN consultation.

Sample & Setting: A convenience sample of women in a private hospital in Western Australia who had breast surgery for breast cancer, BRCA gene mutation, or breast cancer risk reduction, and who experienced face-to-face contact, telephone contact, or no preoperative contact with a BCN.

Methods & Variables: A single-center, mixed-methods, descriptive study comparing timing and mode of consultation.

Results: Women who experienced a timely face-to-face consultation with a BCN in the preoperative period reported that they received superior education and emotional and practical support than women who experienced a telephone consultation or postoperative consultation with a BCN.

Implications for Nursing: When a patient’s circumstances allow, a consultation with a BCN in the preoperative period should be offered. Ideally, this consultation should be conducted face-to-face to provide the education and psychosocial and practical support that patients undergoing breast surgery require. When this is not possible, a telephone consultation should be offered, as opposed to waiting until after surgery.

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