Symptom Alleviation and Self-Care Among Breast Cancer Survivors After Treatment Completion

Sylvia B. Heinze

Phoebe D. Williams

breast cancer survivors, symptoms, Orem’s self-care
CJON 2015, 19(3), 343-349. DOI: 10.1188/15.CJON.343-349

Background: This article elucidates the symptom experiences of breast cancer survivors after completion of their treatment. It also provides self reports of the types, frequency of use, and effectiveness of self-care measures to treat the symptoms they are experiencing.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to describe the self-care strategies used to alleviate symptoms reported by breast cancer survivors recruited from a secure state coalition database.

Methods: The Therapy-Related Symptom Checklist (TRSC) was used to identify the occurrence and severity of ongoing symptoms in breast cancer survivors who were six months or more post-treatment. Two groups were identified for further exploration of self-care: those with low scores on the TRSC (n = 26) and those with high scores on the TRSC (n = 25). The participants also completed the Symptom Alleviation: Self-Care Methods tool.

Findings: The self-care method category most commonly reported was diet/nutrition/lifestyle and the least common category was herbs/vitamins/complementary therapy. With few exceptions, the reported methods were perceived as effective.

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