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Systematic reviews

Open Access Special Issue

Educational programs for post-treatment breast cancer survivors: a systematic review

  • Katherine Jinghua Lin1,*,
  • Cecile A. Lengacher1
  • Carmen S. Rodriguez1
  • Laura A. Szalacha1
  • Jennifer Wolgemuth1

1College of Nursing, College of Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA

DOI: 10.31083/j.ejgo4302036 Vol.43,Issue 2,April 2022 pp.285-341

Submitted: 10 December 2021 Accepted: 25 January 2022

Published: 15 April 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis in Gynaecological Oncology)

*Corresponding Author(s): Katherine Jinghua Lin E-mail:


Objectives: The purpose of this systematic review was to identify the state of the scientific evidence related to educational programs for post-treatment breast cancer survivors (BCSs) during the last twenty years. Methods: A systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases from January 2000 through May 2020 included keywords related to research on educational programs for BCSs. Inclusion criteria included: (1) focus on an educational program for post-treatment breast cancer survivors; (2) original research; (3) peer-review journals; (4) English language; and (5) published between January 2000 to May 2020. EndNote X9 (software version: X9, manufacturer: Clarivate, website location: was used as the reference management software package to manage citations from search results. A PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) flowchart of the selection process is presented in this paper. Results: A total of 24 educational programs/interventions research studies include one mixed-method study, three qualitative studies, and twenty quantitative studies, were identified and analyzed. Three programs focused on BCSs’ self-management and self-efficacy, two programs focused on BCSs’ cognitive problems, seven programs focused on BCSs’ psychological distress, emotional support, and information seeking. In addition, one program focused on BCSs’ body image, body function, and sexual dysfunction issues, five programs focused on BCSs’ physical activities, nutritional levels, and normal body weight maintenance, two programs focused on BCSs’ supportive care and peer advocate support. Finally, one program focused on BCSs’ palliative care and end of life care, and three programs focused on BCSs’ post-treatment symptom clusters and overall quality of life. Conclusions: After breast cancer treatment ends, BCSs continue to suffer from long-term physical and psychological symptoms and report multiple unmet needs. Research on post-treatment breast cancer educational programs showed that programs assist BCSs with post-treatment symptom management and address their concerns while promoting supportive care and peer support to improve BCS’s overall quality of life.


education; program; post-treatment; breast cancer

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Katherine Jinghua Lin,Cecile A. Lengacher,Carmen S. Rodriguez,Laura A. Szalacha,Jennifer Wolgemuth. Educational programs for post-treatment breast cancer survivors: a systematic review. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. 2022. 43(2);285-341.


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