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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Nancy Fahrenwald


rural, early stage breast cancer, decision support aids


While more than two decades ago breast conservation therapy (BCT) was shown to be equivalent to mastectomy in terms of survival, its acceptance has not been proportional to the number of candidates eligible for BCT, especially in rural areas. Decision support aids can be utilized to streamline communication between providers and women. The purpose of this study is to discover how rural women perceive existing decision support aids (DSAs) for surgical treatment of early stage breast cancer (ESBC) and what changes need to be made to these aids to better serve the unique needs of rural women. After performing two focus groups, one conclusion would be that with some minor revisions several DSAs that are currently being utilized could meet the needs of women (rural or frontier) diagnosed with ESBC ensuring that they make quality treatment decisions. Another conclusion would be that women prefer to have more thorough information at hand rather than a simple handout or flyer, so they can so that they can choose what information they read.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Breast -- Cancer -- Treatment -- Decision making
Rural women -- Diseases


Includes bibliographical references (page 42-46)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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