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Patient initiated follow-up of breast cancer.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2002
Issue number4
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)346-355
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper reports on a randomised controlled trial assessing two types of outpatient follow up for women previously treated for stage 1 breast cancer now in remission. These were standard clinic follow up (n=31, age range: 48-83 years) and patient initiated follow up (n=30, age range 53-87 years). The latter method involved giving the women written information on the signs and symptoms of recurrence and instructing them to telephone the Breast Care Nurse if they encountered any problems. The groups were compared in terms of cancer and breast cancer-specific quality of life, and psychological morbidity at recruitment, 6 months and 1 year. Satisfaction with follow up was assessed at 6 months and 1 year. Details regarding contact with healthcare professionals were collected at 1 year. There were no major differences in quality of life and psychological morbidity between the groups although more women in the standard clinic group reported reassurance and being checked as advantages whereas more women in the patient initiated follow up group reported convenience as an advantage. Patient initiated follow up is a potential alternative to standard clinic follow up for this group of women and appears to have no adverse effects. This could enable a cost saving to be made.