Rachael Essig2 and Cristiane M. Ueno1*
1Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Surgery, West Virginia University, USA
2West Virginia University - School of Medicine, USA
Purpose: Studies have shown increase in breast reconstruction after the federal 1998 Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act, however, disparities in breast reconstruction remain. Reconstruction disparities are multifactorial: including demographics, comorbidities, access to information and knowledge of available procedures. The aim of this study is to: assess the perception of Breast Reconstruction Coverage as a Federal Law amongst health care providers in West Virginia.Methods: Data was collected in two consecutive conferences in 2015 and 2016. During both conferences attendants received a lecture on breast reconstruction options with emphasis in education of the “Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act”. Perception was measured through pre and post questionnaire in an Annual Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference.Results: In 2015, eighty-one attendants completed both questionnaires. Initially 42% answered the correct answer and post-conference 61.7% of the providers were aware that insurance would cover reconstruction. In 2016, one hundred and nineteen attendants completed both questionnaires. Before conference 37.82% of providers were aware that patients could receive their breast reconstruction covered by insurance and it changed to 69.7% after conference. An effectiveness score was designed to evaluate perception of providers pre and post-conference. The effectiveness score did not show statistically significant change in 2015, whereas in 2016 it showed statistically significant change in perception of WHCRA. (p< 0.001). When comparing 2015 and 2016, there is a positive impact of the conference education and positive perception change from 2015 to 2016.Conclusion: Although this is a survey limited to a few number of participants, it shows that there are still limitations regarding healthcare provider’s perception of breast reconstruction possibilities for patients and timing of referral. It highlights the need for continuous education of physician/providers to increase breast reconstruction awareness. Intervening in patient-physician communication can result in breast reconstruction surgery rates more consistent with the overall population (urban and rural), overcome the negative effects of racial/ethnic disparities in breast reconstruction and improve quality of life among the underserved patient population.
Breast reconstruction; Breast cancer; Mastectomy
Essig R, Ueno CM. Perception of Healthcare Providers Regarding Breast Reconstruction "Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act" (1998) Through Evaluation of Continuing Medical Education Conference. Clin Surg. 2016; 1: 1180.