Instruments to Evaluate Self-Management of Radiation Dermatitis in Patients With Breast Cancer

Michelle Pembroke

Lynne S. Nemeth

breast cancer, self-management, radiation therapy, radiation dermatitis
ONF 2020, 47(1), 101-111. DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.101-111

Problem Identification: Radiation dermatitis (RD) is an expected side effect of radiation to the breast and chest wall. Healthcare providers routinely grade the severity of RD without assessing its impact on quality of life for patients with breast cancer. Instruments are needed to identify a patient’s ability and confidence to self-manage RD.

Literature Search: A search was conducted of published literature from 2001 to 2018 that included patients who had received radiation therapy for breast cancer. A validated instrument was used to assess RD.

Data Evaluation: Eleven instruments were identified and evaluated for assessing self-management.

Synthesis: One instrument was identified that measured a patient’s ability to self-manage symptoms. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Conditions–Manage Symptoms should be considered for clinical integration.

Implications for Practice: Using a validated instrument to assess patients’ needs and ability to self-manage RD will promote personalized care plans tailored to each patient. Findings can be used to implement a patient-reported outcome measure into clinical practice, develop educational programs for RD management, and create personalized care plans.

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