An Evidence-Based Specialist Breast Nurse Role in Practice: A Multicentre Implementation Study

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Nursing and Public Health




National Breast Cancer Centre's Specialist Breast Nurse Project Team. (2003). An evidence‐based specialist breast nurse role in practice: a multicentre implementation study. European journal of cancer care, 12(1), 91-97. Available here


The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility, implementation, acceptability and impact of an evidence-based specialist breast care nurse (SBN) model of care in Australia. Primary data were collected from four diverse Australian breast cancer treatment centres over a 12-month period. The design was a multicentre demonstration project. Information about the provision of care and patient needs was collected through prospective logs. Structured interviews were conducted with women who received the SBN intervention (N = 167) and with a control group of women treated prior to the intervention period (N = 133). Health professionals (N = 47) were interviewed about their experience of the SBN. Almost all women had contact with an SBN at five scheduled consultations and 67% of women in the intervention group requested at least one additional consultation with the SBN. Women in the intervention group were more likely to receive hospital fact sheets and to be told about and participate in clinical trials. Ninety-eight per cent of women reported that the availability of an SBN would affect their choice of hospital, with 48% indicating that they would recommend only a hospital with a SBN available. Health professionals reported that SBNs improved continuity of care, information and support for the women, and resulted in more appropriate referrals and use of the time of other members of the team. In conclusion, the SBN model is feasible and acceptable within diverse Australian treatment centres; there is evidence that some aspects of care were improved by the SBN.





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