The Needs of Patients with Cancer

Background: The assessment of the needs of patients with cancer by health professionals has not been completely incorporated as a part of daily clinical practice. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the reported needs of cancer patients. Method: The study sample comprised 63 patients with cancer who were being treated in various private and public hospitals in Athens from January 2008 to January 2009. Data were collected using the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) scale. Statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA and t-testing, using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v.15. The statistical significance level adopted was p=0.05. Results: Of the 63 participants, 63.5% were being treated in a private hospital and 36.5% in a public hospital. The results of the survey showed that the patients treated in private hospital reported greater needs for information with regard to the health system and the disease (p=0.029) and greater needs related to items on the physical dimension (p=0.022) and the non specific items (p=0.018) examined by the SCNS. Men reported greater needs related to the physical dimension and sexuality (p=0.007 and p=0.038, respectively). Individuals aged 40-50 years expressed greater needs than those aged 51-60 years in terms of discussing the cancer with others, the attitude of others towards them and financial problems, items that constitute the non specific factors on the scale (p=0.018). Married people had greater needs for information (p=0.024). Individuals living in large cities reported greater needs for information related to the physical dimension (p=0.031) and sexuality (p=0.044). Individuals treated with chemotherapy only, and those who underwent more than 10 cycles of chemotherapy had greater needs in relation to the physical dimension (p=0.016 and p=0.012, respectively). Those who had interrupted their work to receive treatment had greater needs with regard to the physical dimension, sexuality and other non specific items, (p=0.048, p=0.002 and p=0.034, respectively). Conclusions: Factors that appear to determine the reported needs of cancer patients are the gender, age, family status and place of residence, and the type of treatment, the co-existence of the cancer with other diseases and interruption of their work.

Category: Volume 49, N 3
Hits: 49 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2010
Authors: Maria Polikandrioti , Eleni Evagelou , John Zahakis , Panagiota Iliopoulou , John Koutelekos , 4 Eleni Kyritsi