Purpose/objectives: To identify and measure the information needs of the husbands of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and to determine the extent to which these needs are being met.
Design: Descriptive survey.
Setting: Five surgical inpatient units at four urban hospitals in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Sample: 84 husbands of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Method: Subjects completed the Family Inventory of Needs--Husbands.
Main research variables: Information needs and extent to which these needs were met.
Findings: Husbands' highest ranked needs were those related to immediate care needs and communication issues. Their lowest ranked needs were those related to family relationship issues and their practical involvement in caring for their spouse. No differences existed between type of surgery (lumpectomy versus mastectomy) and number of needs and whether or not needs were met. However, husbands whose wives had undergone their first mastectomy reported approximately three times more unmet needs than husbands whose wives had undergone previous surgery for breast cancer. Husbands at greatest risk for not having their needs met were those whose occupational classification was listed as retired or laborers, those with less than a high school education, and those whose wives had only undergone one surgery for breast cancer.
Conclusions: Results of this study provide a profile of the husbands' most and least important information needs and the degree to which these important needs were met.
Implications for nursing practice: With a clearer idea of the type of information important to husbands of women with breast cancer, intervention studies to determine how to best address these information needs can be designed.