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.