BACKGROUND: Fear of recurrence (FoR) is a major concern for patients following treatment for primary breast cancer, affecting 60-99% of breast cancer survivors. Mini-AFTER is a brief intervention developed to address this fear, that breast care nurses are ideally placed to deliver. However, their interest in delivering such an intervention is unknown and crucial to its introduction. This study aims to assess the perceived feasibility of the Mini-AFTER telephone intervention for implementation by breast care nurses to manage moderate levels of fear of recurrence among breast cancer survivors.
METHODS: A sequential explanatory mixed-methods design will be used, informed by normalisation process theory (NPT). The design will be guided by the stages of NPT. Specifically, understanding and evaluating the process (implementation) that would enable an intervention, such as the Mini-AFTER, not only to be operationalised and normalised into everyday work (embedded) but also sustained in practice (integration). Phase 1: all members on the UK Breast Cancer Care Nursing Network database (n = 905) will be emailed a link to a web-based survey, designed to investigate how breast cancer survivors' FoR is identified and managed within current services and their willingness to deliver the Mini-AFTER. Phase 2: a purposive sample of respondents (n = 20) will be interviewed to build upon the responses in phase 1 and explore breast care nurses' individual views on the importance of addressing fear of recurrence in their clinical consultations, interest in the Mini-AFTER intervention, the content, skills required and challenges to deliver the intervention.
DISCUSSION: This study will provide information about the willingness of breast care nurses (BCNs) to provide a structured intervention to manage fear of recurrence. It will identify barriers and facilitators for effective delivery and inform the future design of a larger trial of the Mini-AFTER intervention.
- Journal Article