The use of patient and provider perspectives to develop a patient-oriented website for women diagnosed with breast cancer

Marla L. Clayman, Eric W. Boberg, Gregory Makoul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: Develop a patient education program that provides accurate and easy-to-understand information for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Methods: To inform development of the patient education program, we conducted a longitudinal series of semi-structured interviews with 30 breast cancer patients as well as one-time interviews with 22 healthcare providers. Responses guided the study team's decisions regarding both form and content. Results: We created a website ( that reflects the needs expressed by patients and providers. The website is structured to answer six key questions that emerged in the interviews: What does my diagnosis mean? What will my treatment be like? Who will be involved with my treatment? What has treatment been like for others? How can I share my story with my family and friends? Where can I find more information and support? In a beta-test, 12 breast cancer patients rated the website as very clear, informative, trustworthy, useful, easy-to-understand, and easy to use. Conclusion: The emotional weight of a breast cancer diagnosis, coupled with the amount of disparate information available, can be overwhelming for patients. Providing clear, accurate, and tailored information is a way to meet information needs and allay fears that patients will receive "bad" information. Practice Implications: Combining patient and provider input with the perspectives of a multidisciplinary team resulted in a promising patient education program for women diagnosed with breast cancer. The logic of this approach has implications for developing patient education programs for a variety of clinical contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalPatient education and counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Internet
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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