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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • post-treatment concerns;
  • post-treatment needs;
  • patient information;
  • focus group;
  • workbook-journal

This study aimed to identify the current concerns and needs of Australian women who had recently completed primary treatment for breast cancer in order to develop a workbook-journal for this population. Focus groups were utilized to allow women to use their own frames of reference, and to identify and verbalize the topics that were important to them following treatment. All focus groups were conducted in a patient education and relaxation room, familiar to the women to assist them to feel more at ease. Ten women aged 36–68 years who had recently completed treatment for early-stage breast cancer at a South Australian public hospital took part in one of three focus groups. Topics covered included current physical, emotional and social needs. Participants reported a sense of apprehension about the future at the completion of primary treatment. In addition to this, five specific areas of concern were identified including physical sequelae of treatment, intimacy issues, fear of recurrence, benefit finding, and optimism versus pessimism about the future. Means of addressing post-treatment concerns were also discussed. Following the presentation of these findings, suggestions to aid health-care professionals in their clinical practice are provided.