Purpose/Objectives: To examine oncology care providers’ knowledge of tattooing options for patients who have elected to have breast reconstruction as part of their breast cancer treatment.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: A large metropolitan cancer center in New York and various locations across the United States.
Sample: 68 oncology care providers who work with women with breast cancer, distributed into two groups: RNs (n = 43) and non-RNs (n = 25).
Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize online survey responses for the two groups, with inferential comparisons made with logistic regression models.
Main Research Variables: Healthcare profession, discussion of reconstructive tattoo options with patients, knowledge of providers of reconstructive tattoos outside of traditional healthcare settings, and recommendations made to patients.
Findings: RNs were significantly less likely to recommend a professional tattoo artist to a patient than non-RNs, despite a similar proportion of both groups believing that a tattoo artist would provide the patient with a better tattoo than healthcare providers (HCPs).
Conclusions: Additional research is needed to identify education deficits in HCPs regarding tattoo reconstruction options. HCPs are recommending potentially substandard options for nipple-areola tattooing, even though many believe that tattoo artists, who are outside of the traditional healthcare setting, could provide better outcomes for patients.
Implications for Nursing: Nurses and other HCPs require additional education about nipple-areola tattoo options for patients following breast cancer surgery.