Introduction: The emotional impact of a diagnosis of breast cancer in women and listening to their affective needs is not widely reported in the literature. Recent policies globally emphasize the importance of incorporating patients’ views in treatment. The aim of the study was to provide insights for health care professionals and make recommendations based on patients’ experiences. Breast cancer survivorship is increasing, but the long-term support needs of such women are less understood. Method: This exploratory study asked 20 white women from 2 urban centers in the UK about their experience of diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. It used an adaptation of the photovoice methodology to examine a health issue and identify issues of importance and relevance to patients. It recognizes their expertise in their situation. Results: The themes identified were: Fear/Shock; Waiting; Lack of Control; Communication/Practicalities; Body image changes; Specialist versus nonspecialist Centers/Staff; and Ongoing Support. Discussion: The women provided images, with a written summary of their meaning, and discussed them in groups. They identified good practice and suggestions for how to improve the experience of diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Conclusion: The photovoice methodology provides a low-cost, easy to implement a way for patients to provide insight into their experience and contribute their knowledge to improve clinical practice. Visual images and patients’ words allow clinicians to have greater insight into the environment and priorities of patients which could have implications for their response to treatment and long-term care.
- breast cancer
- clinician-patient relationship
- patient perspectives/narratives
- qualitative methods photovoice