Exploring aspects of physiotherapy care valued by breast cancer patients



To explore the reported value of physiotherapy care received by patients who had accessed a Specialist Breast Care Physiotherapy Service.


Exploratory qualitative study using in-depth interviews to explore aspects of physiotherapy care valued by breast cancer patients. Thematic network analysis was used to interpret the data and bring together the different experiences of the participants and identify common themes.


Physiotherapy Department at a NHS Foundation Trust Teaching Hospital.


Nineteen participants were recruited and three were selected to take part in the in-depth interviews. All participants had received physiotherapy care from a Specialist Breast Care Physiotherapy Service and had been discharged within the last six months.


Participants valued a patient-centred holistic approach to care and access to a Specialist Service with an experienced clinician. In particular the importance of the therapeutic alliance and the value of psychological, emotional and educational support emerged, with the participants feeling empowered in their recovery.

Conclusion and clinical implications

Participants reported an overall positive experience of their physiotherapy care. This study supports the need for service providers to evaluate their current physiotherapy provision and subsequently develop Specialised Services to meet the physiotherapy needs of breast cancer patients throughout all stages of their treatment pathway from the delivery of pre-operative care through to post-treatment follow-up.


Exploring aspects of physiotherapy care valued by breast cancer patients; Physiotherapy - June 2014 (Vol. 100, Issue 2, Pages 156-161, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2014.03.006)