Information Needs Prior to Breast Biopsy
Clinical Nursing Research
Biopsy is the definitive diagnostic procedure for breast cancer. The fear of cancer may make the breast biopsy itself a distressing experience for women and their significant others. Information seeking is believed to be a primary mode of coping with distressful events. The purpose of this study was to describe the information needs of women and their significant others prior to a breast biopsy and to explore the influence of information on the breast biopsy experience. Semistructured, audiotape-recorded interviews with 11 women and 8 significant others were conducted prior to breast biopsy, and categories arising from the data were developed The primary information need identified by the participants was to know "Is it cancer?" Participants' uncertainty regarding the outcome of the biopsy led to feelings of distress. The major strategy used to reduce distress was information management, in which the amount and type of incoming information was controlled. Nursing interventions based on the study findings are presented.