Paper
Friday, July 23, 2004
This presentation is part of : Women's Health
The Impact of Interviewing Breast Cancer Survivors
Ann M. Schreier, RN, PhD1, Susan A. Williams, RN, DNS1, Kenneth Wilson, PhD2, and Marieke Van Willigen, PhD2. (1) School of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA, (2) Sociology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
Learning Objective #1: Analyze the emotional response to interviewing breast cancer survivors
Learning Objective #2: Identify techniques to support phone interviewers of cancer patients

Objective: To explore the effect on young adult women of interviewing breast cancer survivors Design: Qualitative research design using a focus group technique to explore the research questions. Setting: A university survey laboratory in southeastern United States Sample: 6 female non- nursing major university students who conducted phone interviews of breast cancer survivors of their quality of life. The telephone interviews were highly structured questions about the physical, psychological, social and spiritual quality of life. Methods: The student laboratory supervisor stated that the interviewers wanted to talk about their experience with this survey. Two focus groups were conducted with the interviewers. The focus group data was transcribed and then analyzed for themes. Variables: coping; emotional distress; cancer Findings: Several themes emerged. These included a) admiration of survivorís coping ability; b) need of survivorís to relate experiences; c) emotional responses to survivorís experiences; d) importance of preventive health practices; e) fear of cancer and f) helplessness when survivors were ill or emotional. Conclusions: When using phone interviews, it is important to realize that the interviewers need a time and a place to express their reactions to the interviews. When the research involves potentially emotionally charged topics, nurse researcher should plan time for education and support of the interviewers. There were some positive outcomes for the interviewers such as increased breast self-examination and inquiries about healthy diet and smoking cessation. Some interviewers reported discussing and encouraging their mothers to seek mammograms. Implications for nursing: As nurse researchers, our awareness of the needs of interviewers for educations and support is heightened. Anticipation of the emotional and educational needs of the interviewers is important when conducting research especially for those interviewers with little medical background. By including education and support, the interviewers can benefit from the research as well as potential patients.

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