Continuity of care for women with breast cancer : a survey of the views and experiences of patients, carers and health care professionals.

Joan Lafferty, Fiona Rankin, Celine Duffy, Patricia Kearney, Elaine Doherty, Mary McMenamin, Vivien Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of the researchThe need for continuity of care in the management of women diagnosed with breast cancer is important yet challenging. The aim was twofold; to explore 1) the concept of continuity of care from the perspectives of women diagnosed with breast cancer, their carers and their health care professionals (HCPs), 2) actual experiences amongst these three groups relating to continuity of care.Methods and sampleA three-phase cross-sectional survey was conducted involving eight focus group interviews with women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer (n = 47) and structured questionnaires to both carers (n = 33) and HCPs (n = 44). Data were analysed according to three categories of continuity of care; relational, informational and managerial.Key resultsAccording to the patients: ‘Continuity of Care’ is the continuous care over time; it involves the relationship between the HCP and the patient. It is not just a follow-up review. The relationship is built on trust, loyalty and constancy. The perception is that the providers of care know you, know your case history and your future care is agreed on.’Across all phases of the study the three categories of continuity of care were identified but there were differences as to the weight different groups placed on them.Continuity of care was reported to be achieved for the majority of the respondents across all three samples however deficiencies in the service were identified.ConclusionThe results provide an opportunity to improve service; recommendations have been made and steps to implementation taken.Keywords: Continuity of care; Breast cancer; Patients; Carers; Health care professionals
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2010


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