Establishing the acceptability of a brief patient reported outcome measure and feasibility of implementing it in a breast device registry – a qualitative study

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Background: To examine the acceptability of a Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) that assesses perceptions and experiences of implants for breast reconstruction or augmentation, and the feasibility of implementing it in the Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR). Methods: The BREAST-Q Implant Surveillance (BREAST-Q IS) is a 5-question PROM derived from the BREAST-Q questionnaire. It assesses perceptions of breast appearance and sensation, and experiences of pain. Breast implant recipients (recruited via community networks, social media and notices in surgeons’ rooms) and surgeons contributing to the ABDR were invited to review the BREAST-Q-IS. Participation was by individual semi-structured interviews by telephone or email, or by completion of a paper questionnaire. Transcripts of audio recordings and emailed text were analysed thematically. Results: Twenty one breast implant recipients (10 after reconstruction and 11 augmentation), 8 surgeons (five plastic, three breast) and 2 medical professionals performing cosmetic surgeries were interviewed. Six themes were identified: Overall impression, Emotional response to the BREAST-Q IS, Method of follow-up, Suggested improvements, Group variation, and Potential Clinical utility. Overall, breast implant recipients and surgeons found the BREAST-Q IS to be acceptable and unlikely to provoke strong emotional reactions. Email was the preferred mode of contact. Most suggested improvements were to add questions. Surgeons expressed concern that subjective responses to the PROM might not accurately reflect experiences and that the PROM would predict need for revision rather than device failure. Conclusion: This study supports the acceptability and feasibility of BREAST-Q IS as a PROM for recipients of breast implants. Further validation of the Breast-Q IS is required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Patient-Reported Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Acceptability
  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast implant
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Feasibility
  • Outcomes
  • Patient reported outcome measures

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