Orientation and Information Provision

Orientation and Information Provision

PEP Topic 

Orientation and information provision is the act of providing patients and others information about their disease, treatment, and services to be provided. This often includes general information about the organization, staff members with whom the patient may interact, physical structures and layout, and transportation or parking. The intervention differs from psychoeducational interventions in that it is not interactive with patients or families and does not include components such as support or counseling. Orientation and information provision may be done via print or electronic media. In addition to lymphedema, this type of intervention has been examined in oncology for effects in anxiety and depression.

Likely to Be Effective

Research Evidence Summaries

Fu, M.R., Axelrod, D., & Haber, J. (2008). Breast-cancer-related lymphedema: Information, symptoms, and risk-reduction behaviors. Journal of Nursing Scholarship: An Official Publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing/Sigma Theta Tau, 40(4), 341–348.

doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2008.00248.x

Study Purpose:

To explore the effect of providing lymphedema information on breast cancer survivors’ symptoms and practice of risk-reduction behaviors

Intervention Characteristics/Basic Study Process:

All data collection was completed in person. The first author was available to answer questions and assist participants with physical disabilities (i.e., to provide help with reading, marking, or writing). Data were collected from August 22, 2006–May 1, 2007 in New York City, NY.

Sample Characteristics:

  • The study sample (N = 136) was comprised of female patients with breast cancer.
  • Mean age of patients was 54 years.
  • Seventy-four percent of patients were White, 59% were married, and 44% held a graduate degree.


The study took place at New York University Cancer Center.

Study Design:

The study used a cross-sectional, descriptive design.

Measurement Instruments/Methods:

The study used the Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire to assess lymphedema-related symptoms and the Lymphedema Risk-Reduction Behavior Checklist.


Fifty-seven percent of patients reported that they received lymphedema information. On average, participants had three lymphedema-related symptoms. Only 18% of participants were free of symptoms. Participants who received information reported significantly fewer symptoms (t = 3.03, p < 0.00) and practicing more risk-reduction behaviors (t = 2.42, p = 0.01).


Providing lymphedema information has an effect on symptom reduction and more risk-reduction behaviors being practiced among survivors of breast cancer.


  • The study used a cross-sectional design.
  • The majority of the sample were highly educated and White.

Nursing Implications:

In the study, nurses were ranked as the second-most important source of lymphedema information or education after pamphlets. In clinical practice, nurses and other healthcare professionals could consider taking the initiative to provide adequate and accurate information and engage survivors of breast cancer in supportive dialogues concerning lymphedema risk reduction