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Is breast cancer care in accord with clinical practice guidelines: a consumer audit

The Breast
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1054/brst.2002.0478
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Objectives: To assess whether information, support and other psychosocial care for women with early breast cancer in Australia is in accord with published Australian clinical practice guidelines. Design: An interview survey of a population-based sample of women with early breast cancer. Setting: The whole of Australia. Participants : Women diagnosed with early breast cancer 6–12 months before the survey were identified through the population-based cancer registries. An initial sample of 1184 women was drawn from the cancer registries; the doctors of 104 women did not agree to any participation and a further 212 women were excluded as ineligible. A randomly selected sample of 832 of the 868 women who were eligible to participate were invited to participate in the study and 544 (76%) of the 716 who could be contacted completed a full interview. Main outcome measures: A telephone interview covering 12 aspects of care recommended in the published guidelines. Results: Most women received care in accord with the following recommendations: diagnosis given by a senior doctor (95%), face to face (86%) and in an open manner (90%). Fewer women received recommended care in relation to: involvement in decision making (73%), information about clinical trials (13%); receiving breast reconstruction following mastectomy (8%), evidence-based consumer guides (62%) and adequate support for families (65%). Conclusions: The extent to which the provision of information, support and psychosocial care is in accord with recommendations can be audited effectively by a survey of women who have received treatment. Some 80% or more of women received care in accord with half of the 12 target guidelines; however, further programmes are required to improve access to information and participation in clinical trials and to better understand participation in decision making.

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