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Welsh women’s comments about breast problems and the care given: a qualitative study in the community

Pill, Roisin, Wood, Fiona Claire ORCID:, Renold, Emma ORCID:, Robling, Michael Richard ORCID:, Edwards, Adrian G. ORCID: and Wilkinson, Clare Elizabeth 2003. Welsh women’s comments about breast problems and the care given: a qualitative study in the community. European Journal of Cancer Care 12 (3) , pp. 240-248.

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The aim of this study was to undertake a systematic analysis, using qualitative software, of the free text comments from a postal survey exploring women’s experiences of breast symptoms, their expectations of treatment, knowledge of breast cancer risk factors and perceptions of risk, in 34 group general practices in South Wales. The 959 women who returned the questionnaire, out of 1126 (response rate 85%), comprised 497 women who consulted their general practitioner (GP) with a new breast symptom during the baseline data collection period and 462 controls who had not. When the survey was conducted the researchers did not know whether these women had cancer or had previously been treated for it. One-third (33.1%) of those returning the survey (n=318) wrote comments. Compared to the rest, they were significantly more likely to have consulted their GP for a new breast symptom and to have stayed on at school and/or gone on to more education or training. The majority wrote about their own experience of breast symptoms and/or the care received in primary and secondary settings. The general tone was factual and when evaluation took place positive comments were more frequent than negative ones. Nothing suggested that the respondents had been upset or made more anxious by the preceding questions on such a potentially sensitive topic. Free text comments gathered in surveys can provide valuable data if systematically analysed. Doctors, particularly GPs, can be reassured that more women in this community sample who expressed an opinion on care were positive. The negative comments, however, highlight issues that still need to be addressed in therapeutic relationships.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Uncontrolled Keywords: qualitative software; breast symptom; breast cancer; evaluation of care; patient attitudes
Additional Information: For the Bridge Study Group, Department of General Practice, University of Wales College of Medicine, Llanedeyrn Health Centre
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0961-5423
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2023 01:36

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