Self Management Pilot Study on Women with Breast Cancer: Lessons Learnt in Malaysia


Objective: With increasing survival rates, breast cancer is now considered a chronic condition necessitatinginnovative care to meet the long-term needs of survivors. This paper presents the findings of a pilot study onself-management for women diagnosed with breast cancer and their implications for Asian health care providers.
Methods: A pre-test/ post-test pilot study was conducted to gain preliminary insights into program feasibilityand barriers to participation, and to provide justification for a larger trial.
Results: The study found the 4 weekself management program feasible and acceptable, with a favourable trend in quality of life. The recruitmentbarriers ranged from competing medical appointments, uncollaborative health providers, linguistic barriersand social-household concerns. Supporting facilitators identified were family, health professionals and fellowparticipants (“buddies”). Lessons from the study are discussed with regard to Asian health providers.
Conclusion:There is preliminary evidence that self management is a workable and potentially useful model even in an Asiansentrenched-hierarchical medical model of care. The initial challenge was breaking down barriers in acceptanceeof a collaborative stance. A clinical trial is now warranted to gather more evidence.