Qualitatively understanding patients' and health professionals' experiences of the BRECONDA breast reconstruction decision aid

Kerry A. Sherman*, Laura Kate Shaw, Lone Jørgensen, Diana Harcourt, Linda Cameron, John Boyages, Elisabeth Elder, Judy Kirk, Katherine Tucker

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Women diagnosed with breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ and those with a genetic susceptibility to developing this disease face the challenging decision of whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction following mastectomy. As part of a large randomized controlled trial, this qualitative study examined women's experiences of using the Breast RECONstruction Decision Aid (BRECONDA) and health professionals' feedback regarding the impact of this resource on patients' knowledge and decision making about breast reconstruction. Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with women who accessed the BRECONDA intervention (N = 36) and with their healthcare providers (N = 6). All interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis by 3 independent coders. Results: Participants reported an overall positive impression, with all interviewees endorsing this decision aid as a useful resource for women considering reconstructive surgery. Thematic analysis of patient interviews revealed 4 themes: overall impressions and aesthetics; personal relevance and utility; introducing BRECONDA; and advantages and suggested improvements. Analysis of health professionals' interviews also revealed 4 themes: need for BRECONDA, impact of BRECONDA, potential difficulties that may arise in using the decision aid, and recommending BRECONDA to patients. Patients indicated that they derived benefit from this resource at all stages of their decision-making process, with the greatest perceived benefit being for those early in their breast reconstruction journey. Conclusion: These findings support the use of BRECONDA as an adjunct to clinical consultation and other information sources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1618-1624
    Number of pages7
    Issue number10
    Early online date30 Jan 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


    • BRCA
    • breast reconstruction
    • cancer
    • decision aid
    • oncology
    • user experience


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