There are a number of limitations to the data presented here.
It is not possible to quantify the number of women in Australia who are eligible for the program. For that reason, it was not possible to devise a sample which was statistically representative of the eligible population. There were several factors influencing the development of the sample:
- the lack of knowledge regarding the number of women in Australia who are eligible for the program
- the lack of any data source which could identify who eligible women may be or where they may be located
- the consequent need to seek potential respondents through a variety of networks for women with breast cancer, and
- the likelihood that many potential respondents are currently living with a recent cancer diagnosis, surgery and/or treatment, and the corresponding sensitivity and ethical issues which arise.
At the same time, a consultation of over 350 women has provided reasonably consistent feedback through the range of opportunities provided (survey, interview, email, focus group), so that the issues which have been identified, while not many in number, have been expressed across a wide diversity of respondents.
What the evaluation does provide is a snapshot of perspectives regarding the program in its first year of operation, as viewed by those in roles within stakeholder and representative organisations or those consumers who have accessed the program. The picture which is presented here is based on the views of those who have had some interaction with the program through their professional role or their personal lives.
A discussion of the key themes of the evaluation is found in chapter 5, with recommendations for the future.