March 1977

An Information and Discussion Program For Women After a Mastectomy

Author Affiliations

From The Transition Center and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(3):276-281. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370030048008

• We discuss a pilot program of information and group discussion that was presented to a group of women who had had a mastectomy. The program was initiated to determine the nature of the unmet psychosocial needs of this group and to evaluate a means of meeting them. We held three weekly group sessions where information on the medical and psychological aspects of breast cancer were imparted by films, and videotapes, and small group discussions of mutual problems. Self-administered questionnaires completed by participants in the program were used to ascertain the characteristics of those attending and to assess their response to the experience. We found that the need for psychosocial services to be greatest in the year immediately after operation and to persist as long as decades later. We also found that this group method of psychological rehabilitation meets needs not met by other programs held in a more clinical setting and on a one-to-one basis.

(Arch Surg 112:276-281, 1977)