Personal goals of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer: Protocol for a cohort study

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Andrea Janette Chow
Dean Anthony Fergusson
Dugald Seely
Sarah Young
Anne Pitman
Julie Ennis
Sarah Asad
Justin Presseau


Objectives: This study aims to identify the personal goals of women with breast cancer, to describe the characteristics of partici- pants’ personal goals over four months, and to identify barriers and facilitators to their pursuit.

Methods: This protocol outlines plans to conduct a prospective cohort study. We will recruit women participating in the Ottawa In- tegrative Cancer Centre’s Head Start program (an integrative oncology psychoeducational program in Ottawa, Canada), and those on the program’s waiting list if possible. We anticipate a sample size of approximately 18 to 36 women. Prior to the beginning of Head Start, participants will identify their current personal goals and rate them on various dimensions on a questionnaire. At one and three months, participants will re-assess their goals and their goal pursuit. In a one-on-one interview at three months, they will identify barriers and facilitators to the pursuit of their goals. We will analyze quantitative data using descriptive and inferential statistics, and qualitative data using thematic content analysis.

Conclusion: Findings from this study will identify important information about the personal goals of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer that can help to support the process of positive goal adjustment and enhance support to these women. 


Objectifs : Cette étude vise à identifier les objectifs personnels des femmes atteintes d’un cancer du sein, à décrire les caractéristiques des objectifs personnels des participantes sur une période de quatre mois, et à identifier les obstacles et les facilitateurs à leur poursuite.

Méthodes : Ce protocole décrit les plans pour mener une étude de cohorte prospective. Nous recruterons des femmes qui participeront au programme Head Start du Centre de cancérologie intégrative d’Ottawa (un programme psychopédagogique intégratif en oncologie à Ottawa, au Canada) et celles qui sont sur la liste d’attente du programme, si possible. Nous prévoyons un échantillon d’environ 18 à 36 femmes. Avant le début de Head Start, les participantes identifieront leurs objectifs personnels actuels et les noteront sur différentes dimensions dans un questionnaire. À un et trois mois, les participantes réévalueront leurs objectifs et la poursuite de leur objectif. Dans une entrevue individuelle à trois mois, elles identifieront les obstacles et les facilitateurs à la poursuite de leurs objectifs. Nous analyserons les données quantitatives à l’aide de statistiques descriptives et inférentielles, et les données qualitatives à l’aide d’analyses de contenu thématiques.

Conclusion : Les résultats de cette étude permettront d’identifier des informations importantes sur les objectifs personnels des femmes récemment diagnostiquées avec un cancer du sein qui peuvent aider à soutenir le processus d’ajustement positif des objectifs et améliorer le soutien à ces femmes. 


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