A consultation with Canadian rural women with breast cancer

Ontario Breast Cancer Community Research Initiative, Sunnybrook & Women's Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Health Expectations (Impact Factor: 2.85). 04/2004; 7(1):40-50. DOI: 10.1046/j.1369-6513.2003.00248.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Relatively little research has been carried out on the health and supportive care needs of rural women living with breast cancer. In this study, results from a Canadian focus group study are used to highlight issues of importance to rural women.
A total of 276 rural women with breast cancer divided into 17 focus groups participated in the study conducted across Canada. A standardized protocol for discussion was employed. Issues of access to information, support and services were discussed, with women describing their experiences in trying to find appropriate programmes and services.
The major theme identified through analysis of qualitative data was 'becoming aware of and/or gaining access to health care information, support and services.' Other major themes included: (1) dealing with isolation; (2) having to travel; (3) feeling the financial burden and (4) coping with changing work.
Rural women with breast cancer have supportive care challenges related to their circumstances. A series of recommendations were generated through the consultation process which are contributing to the development of a national strategy focusing on the development and extension of programmes for rural women with breast cancer. Although the research on the project was not to specified standards, and suffered from less attention than community capacity building and advocacy, it proved to be of worth and revealed potential benefits from collaborations between researchers and community organizations.

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