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Breast Cancer Survivor Symptoms: A Comparison of Physicians’ Consultation Records and Nurse-Led Survivorship Care Plans

Christina Kozul
Lesley Stafford
Ruth Little
Chad Bousman
Allan Park
Kerry Shanahan
G. Bruce Mann
CJON 2020, 24(3), E34-E42 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.E34-E42

Background: Survivorship care plans (SCPs) have been used to address ongoing health problems associated with the diagnosis and treatment of early-stage breast cancer.

Objectives: The aim of this article was to determine whether nurse-led consultations using SCPs, as compared with a standard medical consultation, identify more side effects and supportive care needs and lead to appropriate referral patterns.

Methods: The study audited 160 retrospective medical clinic and nursing SCP records in a sample of patients receiving treatment for early-stage breast cancer at a tertiary-level breast service in Australia.

Findings: Breast care nurses (BCNs) undertaking SCPs at a nurse-led consultation were significantly more likely than physicians to record symptoms related to menopausal/hormonal therapy, psychosocial/mental health, lifestyle, bone health, and sexuality. BCNs were also significantly more likely to refer patients for concerns related to psychosocial/mental health, lifestyle, and sexuality.

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