A Nurse-Led Telephone Session and Quality of Life after Radiotherapy Among Women with Breast Cancer: A Randomized Trial

Birgit Bjerre Høyer*, 1, 2, Gunnar Vase Toft1, Jeanne Debess3, Cecilia Høst Ramlau-Hansen1, 4
1 Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
2 Department of Oncology, Vejle Hospital, Vejle, Denmark
3 University College of Northern Denmark, Aalborg, Denmark
4 Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

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© Høyer et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, Build. 2C, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; Tel: +45 89 49 42 75; Fax: +45 89 49 42 60; E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a nurse-led telephone session with patients suffering from breast cancer approximately ten days after final radiotherapy treatment affected their quality of life two to four weeks after radiotherapy. The study was conducted at the Radiotherapy ward at Vejle Hospital, Denmark between January and May 2010. The study population consisted of 100 patients, who were randomized with a 1:1 ratio to have either ordinary supportive conversations (control group), or ordinary supportive conversations and a supplementary nurse-led telephone session (intervention group). The quality of life was assessed using the questionnaires EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-BR23. For statistical comparison of quality of life and for adjustment for covariates, multiple linear regression analysis was conducted. The mean [95 % CI] quality of life was 72.0 [66.4-77.6] in the control group and 69.9 [64.3-75.2] in the intervention group. Adjustment for covariates did not change the estimates. No statistically significant differences were found in the groups in either of the analyses. The nurse-led telephone session had no positive effect on the quality of life of patients with breast cancer two to four weeks after their final radiotherapy.

Keywords: Quality of life, breast neoplasm, questionnaire, RCT, supportive conversation, nursing, women.