Prevalence and correlates of the unmet supportive care needs of individuals diagnosed with a haematological malignancy




Boyes, Allison W.
Clinton-McHarg, Tara
Waller, Amy E.
Steele, Anthony
D'Este, Catherine
Sanson-Fisher, Rob W.

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Informa Healthcare


BACKGROUND: Information about the unmet supportive care needs of haematological cancer patients is needed for service planning and to inform clinical practice. This study described the prevalence of, and factors associated with, unmet supportive care needs among haematological cancer patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 380 adults diagnosed with haematological cancer were recruited from the outpatient department at three comprehensive cancer treatment centres in Australia. Of these, 311 completed a self-report questionnaire. Unmet needs were assessed using the 34-item Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34). The data were examined using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. RESULTS: Overall, 51% (95% CI 45-57%) of participants reported having at least one 'moderate to high' level unmet need, while 25% (95% CI 20-30%) reported 'no need' for help with any items. Unmet needs were most commonly reported in the psychological (35%; 95% CI 30-41%) and physical aspects of daily living (35%; 95% CI 30-41%) domains. The three most frequently endorsed items of 'moderate to high' unmet need were: lack of energy/tiredness (24%; 95% CI 20-30%), not being able to do the things you used to do (21%; 95% CI 17-26%), and uncertainty about the future (21%; 95% CI 16-25%). Patients' sociodemographic characteristics influenced unmet needs more than disease characteristics. Patients who were female, aged less than 55 years or not in the labour force had higher odds of reporting 'moderate to high' level unmet supportive care needs. CONCLUSION: Unmet supportive care needs are prevalent among haematological cancer patients, particularly in the psychological and physical aspects of daily living domains. These findings provide valuable insight about the range of resources, multidisciplinary linkages and referral pathways needed to address haematological cancer patients' unmet needs.





Acta Oncologica


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