Factors associated with supportive care needs of patients under treatment for breast cancer

Silvia Schmid-Buechi*, Ruud J. G. Halfens*, Marianne Mueller*, Theo Dassen*, Bart van den Borne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed at gaining insight into supportive care needs and cancer treatment-related symptoms, and to determine factors associated with supportive care needs. Breast cancer and its treatment cause emotional trauma and health complaints. These lead to supportive care needs in some patients, while others are more able to cope with these consequences themselves. To be able to address these needs, it is important to identify patients' needs at the time they arise. Methods: Women (n = 175) with newly-diagnosed breast cancer, under treatment in two Swiss breast cancer clinics, participated in a cross-sectional survey. Standardized instruments were used: Supportive Care Needs Survey, Cancer- and Cancer Treatment-related Symptom Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Distress Thermometer, and Interpersonal Relationship Inventory. Results: The patients' most needed help with psychological issues. Many had treatment-related symptoms like fatigue (87.7%), hot flashes (71.5%), and a changed body appearance (55.8%). The majority suffered from distress (56.2%), fewer from anxiety (24.1%) and depression (12.1%). Physical and social impairment, impaired body image, distress, anxiety and depression, a lack of social support and conflicts in their personal relationships were associated with supportive care needs. Conclusions: The findings can help to identify more vulnerable patients with unmet needs and a higher demand for support. Assessment of patients enables health care professionals to provide support and counselling. In these assessments, the patients' relationship to close relatives should also be addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Needs
  • Psychosocial
  • Distress
  • Anxiety
  • Support
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Symptom perception
  • Symptom management

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