Primary Outcome Measures:
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- Body Image [ Time Frame: 18 months post operatively ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Body Image Scale
- Satisfaction with Decisions [ Time Frame: 18 months post-operatively ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Satisfaction with Decisions Scale
- Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 18 months post-operatively ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Breast-Q and Forecasting measures
- Knowledge [ Time Frame: Pre-operatively at time of decision making which is an average of 2-4 weeks before surgery. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
The investigator will use the Decision Quality Instrument which includes knowledge questions to assess patient understanding of breast reconstruction.
Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is an important treatment option for the many thousands of women who undergo mastectomy each year. Its insurance coverage is mandated by federal law. Many women who want reconstruction, particularly women from racial and ethnic minorities, never receive it, and some women who undergo reconstruction regret having it, raising concern about the quality of decisions about the procedure. Little is known about the quality of breast reconstruction decisions, defined as the extent to which decisions are informed and concordant with patients' preferences. A lack of reliable methods for evaluating preference concordance has resulted in a paucity of research in this area. Deciding about breast reconstruction requires a patient to predict how she would feel after the procedure, a process called affective forecasting. Extensive psychological research has shown that people have difficulty making accurate predictions about how they will feel, tending to overestimate the effects of disease and treatments on their well-being and to underestimate their ability to adapt to change and the effects of other aspects of their lives. Despite the importance of affective forecasting to decisions about breast reconstruction, no research has examined this aspect of those decisions. The investigator proposes to conduct a pilot cohort study of breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy, with or without reconstruction with the following specific aims: Aim 1: to evaluate whether patients make informed decisions about breast reconstruction that are concordant with their preferences; Aim 2: to assess the accuracy of patients' preoperative predictions about their post-operative body image and well-being; and Aim 3: to assess the effects of breast reconstruction on quality of life and body image and the potential modification of those effects by preference concordance.