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Title: Navigating changes: A qualitative study exploring the health-related quality of breast cancer survivors during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic
Author(s): Yip, Ka Huen 
Tsui, Zoe Wai King 
Smith, Graeme Drummond 
Yip, Jeffrey Yuk Chiu 
Mo, Kitty Yuen Han 
Author(s): Chan, A. C.-S.
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Journal: Journal of Advanced Nursing 
Volume: 80
Issue: 4
Start page: 1531
End page: 1544
To explore the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of breast cancer survivors.

We utilized a qualitative descriptive approach to facilitate interviews among 25 participants, all of whom are survivors of breast cancer and have received treatment in Hong Kong within the preceding 3 years.

Content analysis was performed to understand how patients' HRQoL views and experiences changed during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

The results included six themes delineating the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: (i) survivor sensitivities in pandemic times, (ii) coping and conditioning in pandemic times, (iii) transforming work and home dynamics in pandemic times, (iv) cognitive resilience and adaptation to the COVID-19 protective measures, (v) social resilience in pandemic times and (vi) healthcare adaptation and coping in pandemic times.

This study provides insights into the experiences and challenges of breast cancer survivors during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Some survivors had new physical and psychological symptoms, including fear and anxiety, isolation, pain, lymphoedema and burnout, which potentially have long-term impact upon HRQoL.

Implications for the profession and/or patient care
This study highlights the unique challenges faced by breast cancer survivors during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, including accessing healthcare services and the impact of social isolation. Healthcare providers should consider the holistic needs of breast cancer survivors in the provision of health care and develop supportive interventions, including telehealth services and online support groups, to address these challenges and improve their HRQoL.

Surgery aimed at treating breast cancer or reducing its risk generally influences the appearance of breast areas and donor sites. The continuing effects of these changes on body image and HRQoL are well-reported, although studies have ineffectively examined the initial experiences of women regarding their postoperative appearance, particularly during the pandemic.

Reporting method
The checklist of consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) was utilized.

Patient or public contribution
A small selection on breast cancer survivors contributed to the design of this study, in particular the content of the semi-structured interviews.
DOI: 10.1111/jan.15909
CIHE Affiliated Publication: Yes
Appears in Collections:HS Publication

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