Objective: This study asked: (1) What do rural women with breast cancer need to make the most out of their major medical appointments? and (2) What can the community resource centers do to best support those needs?
Methods: We interviewed 12 doctors, 12 breast cancer survivors and 10 community agency staff, including those who provide services to Latinos and Native Americans. Interviews generated success factors and barriers related to meeting patient information needs. Examples were categorized into themes.
Results: Success factors included making sure patients review high quality educational materials before the visit; and that someone is available to take notes. Doctors felt that a patient list of questions was productive, but some survivors felt doctors did not always respond productively to the list. Respondents did not mention audiorecording unless prompted. Most then endorsed it.
Conclusion: Educational materials, question lists, and note-takers can help rural women with breast cancer and their doctors achieve their goals during treatment discussions. Audiorecording may be an implicit but not explicit need.
Practice implications: Other cancer resource centers and support agencies should consider offering information, question-listing, and note-taking services. They should assess whether audiorecording is an implicit need in their settings.
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