Patient Preferences for Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is an important treatment option for the many
thousands of women who undergo mastectomy each year. Its insurance coverage is mandated by
federal law. Many women who want reconstruction, particularly women from racial and ethnic
minorities, never receive it, and some women who undergo reconstruction regret having it,
raising concern about the quality of decisions about the procedure. Little is known about
the quality of breast reconstruction decisions, defined as the extent to which decisions are
informed and concordant with patients' preferences. A lack of reliable methods for
evaluating preference concordance has resulted in a paucity of research in this area.
Deciding about breast reconstruction requires a patient to predict how she would feel after
the procedure, a process called affective forecasting. Extensive psychological research has
shown that people have difficulty making accurate predictions about how they will feel,
tending to overestimate the effects of disease and treatments on their well-being and to
underestimate their ability to adapt to change and the effects of other aspects of their
lives. Despite the importance of affective forecasting to decisions about breast
reconstruction, no research has examined this aspect of those decisions. The investigator
proposes to conduct a pilot cohort study of breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy,
with or without reconstruction with the following specific aims: Aim 1: to evaluate whether
patients make informed decisions about breast reconstruction that are concordant with their
preferences; Aim 2: to assess the accuracy of patients' preoperative predictions about their
post-operative body image and well-being; and Aim 3: to assess the effects of breast
reconstruction on quality of life and body image and the potential modification of those
effects by preference concordance.
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
The investigator will assess patient preferences pre-operatively using conjoint analysis. The investigator will determine if these preferences are concordant with the patient's treatment decision.
Time of Surgery decision which is an average of 2-4 weeks before surgery.
Clara N Lee, MD, MPP
University of North Carolina
United States: Institutional Review Board
|University of North Carolina||Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599|