We examined whether a difference exists in the information needs among breast cancer patients as time passes from the diagnosis. The questionnaire was administered to patients in an outpatient clinic setting in Cork University Hospital. The results of the study showed no differences in the median scores at 1, 3, and 5 years after the diagnosis; however, the information need was high throughout and was the most high for the disease process.
Introduction: The information needs of breast cancer patients at diagnosis have been studied extensively. However, with cancer survival improving, the era of cancer care has entered a more chronic phase with an associated paucity of data related to longer term information requirements. The aim of the present study was to assess and compare the information needs of breast cancer patients during the first 5 years after the diagnosis. Patients and Methods: A total of 105 follow-up consecutive patients presenting to a tertiary referral breast cancer center from August to October 2017 were recruited. The patients were divided into groups by the years after the diagnosis (1, 3, and 5 years). Each patient completed the Toronto Information Needs Questionnaire for Breast Cancer. Results: The number of patients in each group was as follows: 23 at 1 year, 38 at 3 years, and 44 at 5 years after the initial diagnosis. The median Toronto Information Needs Questionnaire for Breast Cancer score was 4.15 on a 5-point Likert scale of breast cancer information needs (1, not important to 5, extremely important). No difference was found in the median scores at 1, 3, and 5 years. Information pertaining to the disease process was rated as most important (median, 4.50), and information regarding the psychosocial aspect of disease was ranked lowest (median, 3.75). Conclusion: The information needs of patients with breast cancer remain high throughout the follow-up period after the diagnosis. In an era of prolonged survival, attention to the information needs of patients at follow-up examinations is as important as at the time of diagnosis and treatment. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.