Background: Women with breast cancer (BC) commonly experience physical and psychosocial symptoms after surgery. Web-and smartphone-based support can significantly improve women's symptoms and quality of life. Social care applications (apps) are widely used in China, but there are few studies on their effectiveness BC support. This study aimed to examine the effects of nurse-led support on the social care app WeChat® (Tencent Holdings Limited, Shenzhen, China) in BC patients after surgery.
Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted between June 2015 and August 2015. Sixty patients with BC (30 in the intervention group, 30 in the control group) were enrolled. Subjects in the intervention group participated in a WeChat-based support program (WSP) led by nurses, while subjects in the control group received a follow-up by telephone. Subjects in both groups were evaluated at the time of discharge and at 1, 3, and 6 months of follow-up. Physical well-being status, psychology status, and social support were evaluated.
Results: There were no differences between intervention and control patients at baseline. Physical well-being (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), depression (p < 0.001), and support from outside of family (p = 0.037) were significantly better in the intervention group than in the control group after 6 months. The intervention group showed that physical well-being (p = 0.036), anxiety (p < 0.001), and depression (p < 0.001) were significantly different from baseline to 6 months of follow-up.
Conclusion: WSP assisted with nurse-led support and had physical, psychological, and social benefits for patients after surgery for BC.