Online oncology support trial for rural women before and after breast cancer surgery
Rural breast cancer patients who undergo surgery to remove breast tumours commonly report practical and financial barriers to accessing face-to-face care in regional and metropolitan centres.
Given increasing access to high speed internet across Australia, online oncology support models have the potential to address the psychosocial, financial and practical burdens experienced by rural breast cancer patients.
By providing web-based pre-operative information to guide expectations for surgical procedures and outcomes, and post-operative follow-up appointments delivered by video-conference, clinicians may be able to reduce rural breast cancer patients’ anxiety, improve their quality of life, and lead to reduced costs imposed on the patient and health care system.
This project will gather high level evidence about the psychosocial and economic impacts of online oncology support via a randomised controlled trial. The trial aims to compare the outcomes for women on the trial to those receiving usual care in the following areas: 7-day post-operative anxiety; 45-days post-operative health-related quality of life; 45-days post-operative health sector perspective cost-effectiveness.
The aim is to provide reliable information to guide expectations for surgical procedures and outcomes, as well as reduce breast cancer patients’ anxiety, length of hospital stay, pain and other post-operative complications. Additionally, it will provide information about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an online oncology support model for rural breast cancer patients.