Aim: To answer the research question; Do breast cancer surgeons in the United Kingdom and Sweden treat patients with early symptomatic breast cancer differently?
Objective: To improve patient care by carrying out a survey questionnaire study that evaluates surgeons� choices of management for early symptomatic breast cancer in the United Kingdom and Sweden, and to compare their recommended treatment to current practice guidelines to ascertain adherence.
Research Methods: Swedish and British breast surgeons will be invited to participate in an online survey to evaluate their recommended management for patient scenarios with a range of different patient- and tumour factors, including size, grade, nodal involvement and oestrogen receptor status. The questionnaire will be in the English and Swedish languages, and data will be collected anonymously, in order to increase the response rate. The questionnaire will be developed in the computer programme �QuestionPro Survey Software�. Surgeons will be identified from membership registers of the Association of Breast Surgery at the British Association of Surgical Oncology, and the Swedish Society of Breast Surgery. A pilot study will be conducted on a small number of local surgeons to ascertain study design. Data collection will take place over three months, with a reminder sent half way through. No ethical approval is required due to no direct involvement of patients.
Analytical Methods: Data from the questionnaire will be recorded electronically on an Excel database and be analysed quantitatively using standard statistical approaches. Recommended choice of treatment for each patient scenario will be compared with the current British and Swedish guidelines to ascertain guideline adherence.
Results: ArcGIS will be used to display the results. Results from the collected data will be presented as part of the dissertation for the course MRes in Health Research.