Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the effect of supportive care on healthcare and support needs for women with suspected breast cancer during the diagnostic period.
Design: A quasiexperimental design with two nonrandomly assigned groups.
Setting: Two general surgery outpatient departments at a large teaching hospital in Taiwan.
Sample: Experimental and control groups included 62 and 60 women with suspected breast cancer, respectively.
Methods: The experimental group received supportive care, including health education pamphlets regarding breast cancer diagnosis and treatment; three sessions of individual, face-to-face health education and emotional support; and two follow-up telephone counseling sessions. The control group received routine care. Data were collected upon notice of need for breast biopsy, before biopsy, and after biopsy results were revealed.
Main Research Variables: Healthcare and support needs.
Findings: Levels of healthcare and support needs before breast biopsy and after results were revealed were significantly lower for the experimental group than the control group. Supportive care and biopsy results predicted healthcare and support need levels after diagnosis confirmation, explaining 57% of the total variance.
Conclusions: Supportive care incorporating information, emotional support, and continuous follow-up care improved the degree to which women with suspected breast cancer perceived that their healthcare and support needs were met.
Implications for Nursing: Supportive care, when individually designed and culturally sensitive, can help clinical nurses improve quality of care for clients with suspected breast cancer during the diagnostic period.