The Role of Health-related Anxiety in Information Preferences of Women with Breast Cancer.

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Breast cancer is an illness with a big impact on the lives of its patients. In some cases, it can cause anxiety and mental instability. Patients want to gain control over their bodies, and fill the information gap that the diagnosis has caused by looking for additional health information. The main question in this study is: What role does health-related anxiety have in the information preferences of breast cancer patients? To answer this question, nine breast cancer patients were interviewed by the researcher to determine to what extent they experienced anxiety, and how they looked for information. This qualitative approach gives an insight into the needs and motives for information, and will in turn be of use for medical staff to satisfy their patients’ needs and provide better care. Out of the nine participants in this study, eight reported high scores of anxiety during the period after their diagnosis with breast cancer. This study found a possible positive relationship between anxiety and the need for information, supporting existing literature. The findings of this study show that practitioners should spend more time informing their patients, fulfilling their needs and possibly reducing levels of anxiety.
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