BACKGROUND: The improvement of breast cancer treatment and the extension of survivorship have led to the development of postoperative complications among cancer survivors. Health literacy (HL), defined as patients' capability of using health information to maintain their health status, can enable breast cancer patients to manage postoperative complications. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to develop a tailored rehabilitation education (TRE) program and examine the effectiveness of this program in improving the HL and health status with breast cancer. METHODS: This randomized controlled trial recruited 99 breast cancer patients (49 and 50 in the intervention and control groups, respectively) within 1 week after surgery. Four-week individualized TRE programs were implemented to improve their HL and health status. RESULTS: Our results showed that the TRE program produced significant improvements in HL and health status in the components of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. However, no significant difference was observed in the activity scores obtained using the Barthel Index between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: Our finding supports the effectiveness of 1-month TRE in improving HL and all components of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health status, except the activity component among breast cancer in Taiwan. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Clinicians could incorporate the TRE techniques in the rehabilitation sessions according to the healthcare, disease prevention, and health promotion domains to improve the clinical outcomes as well as change their health behaviors and attitudes of patients with breast cancer.
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