International and national studies have shown unmet information needs regarding nutrition in breast cancer patients. An intervention study has examined the question of the extent to which a fact sheet on the topic of nutrition is suitable to cover the need for information of breast cancer patients.
The fact sheet with basic information on nutrition was distributed in 21 intervention breast care centres in 2017. The use of the fact sheets was evaluated in a quasi-experimental design as part of the annual breast cancer patients’ survey of the University of Cologne. The breast cancer patients considered were being treated with primary breast carcinoma in a hospital in North Rhine-Westphalia. A multilevel analysis was carried out in order to quantify the effect of the intervention.
Unmet information needs are experienced more by younger and non-native German-speaking patients. With regard to education, patients without a graduation and a high grade of education express more unmet information needs. The multilevel analysis showed that patients who were treated at an intervention site and therefore possibly received the fact sheet have a significantly higher chance of their information needs being met (OR = 1.45; p ≤ 0.05).
The intervention study showed that a fact sheet with basic information on nutrition is a possible instrument to satisfy the information needs of breast cancer patients and therefore reduce unmet information needs regarding nutrition. This intervention study is a pragmatic example on how to reduce unmet information needs among breast cancer patients in Germany.