Aims: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is associated with significant distress; however, accessible psychological interventions for this population are lacking. This study summarises a two-phase qualitative exploration of (a) information and support women with MBC seek currently, or would like to obtain, via internet; and (b) potential of a tailored internet-intervention to meet these needs.
Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted to address each study aim: interview 1 obtained feedback on current information and support needs; interview 2 evaluated our internet-intervention, Finding My Way (FMW), designed to provide information and support for patients treated with curative intent, for its relevance to women with MBC, including recommended content-changes and additions. Results were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis.
Results: To date, 11 women have completed interview 1, and six interview 2. Aim(a): Women had varying levels of satisfaction with available information/support, and identified important information to receive via internet: medical information (e.g. diagnosis, terminology, coping with treatment side-effects) (64%), sharing experiences with other women with MBC (55%), coping with practical/system challenges (e.g. accessing superannuation) (45%), general and psychological well-being (36%), communicating effectively with medical professionals (27%), appropriate diet and exercise (27%), and support for partners and family (27%). Most women had internet access (82%) and expressed minimal concerns about an internet program including legitimacy (45%) and privacy/security (18%). Aim(b): Women’s feedback on FMW was positive overall. Recommended changes included information on coping with ongoing treatment and mortality (83%), more MBC-specific information (i.e. living well with MBC) (66%), more information on support for partners (66%), shorter modules (50%), and links to resources (33%). Updated results will be provided at the time of the presentation.
Conclusions: Women with MBC report varying levels of use of, and satisfaction with, existing sources of information and support, and interest in an internet program with specific content included.
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Breast Cancer Network Australia’s (BCNA) Review and Survey Group. We acknowledge the women involved in Review and Survey Group who participated in this project.