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Information Needs of Women with Breast Cancer: A Review of the Literature

Abbas Sheikhtaheri, Azin Nahvijou, Esmat Mashoof



Introduction: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and a serious concern for women's health. Providing sufficient information to these patients increases the level of their participation and improves the quality of their care. Therefore, given the high survival rate of this cancer, it is necessary to understand their information needs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the information needs of women with breast cancer.

Material and Methods: The study is a systematic review of the literature. A search of the databases of PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct and ProQuest has been conducted on studies published in English over the period 2010-2017. 2881 articles were retrieved and evaluated for title, abstract and full text and after eliminating duplicate and unrelated cases, 18 articles related to the purpose of the study were selected. The articles were then analyzed using content analysis.

Results: Of the 2881 retrieved articles, 18 studies on the information needs of patients with breast cancer were finally reviewed. According to these studies, most information needs were in the areas of diagnosis and treatment (first rank), daily activities (second rank), disease acceptance and self-image (third rank), personal and family life (fourth rank) and sexual health (fifth rank). The most important information needs in the field of diagnosis and treatment was outcomes and side effects of treatment, in the area of daily activities on the impact of disease on social activity, in the area of disease acceptance and self-image was breast reconstruction, body appearance and need for consultation, in the area of personal life, cancer risk for the family and in the area of sexual health was the effect of cancer on sexual attraction were the most cited needs.

Conclusion:Providing information to patients is one of the most important factors in supporting cancer care and understanding the information needs is the first step in seeking information. Patients with breast cancer are interested in receiving information that will help them understand cancer, make decisions about it, and manage their treatment.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30699/fhi.v9i1.216


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