The diagnosis and subsequent treatment of prostate cancer is followed by a range of significant disease specific and iatrogenic sequelae. However, the supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer are not well described in the literature. The present study assesses the supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer who are members of prostate cancer self-help groups in Queensland, Australia. In all, 206 men aged between 48 and 85 years (mean=68) completed the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) (62% response). The SCNS is a validated measure assessing perceived need in the domains of psychological needs, health system and information needs, physical and daily living needs, patient care and support, and sexuality. Items assessing need for access to services and resources were also included.
One third of the sample reported a moderate to high need for help for multiple items in the sexuality, psychological and health system and information domains. Younger men reported greater need in the sexuality domain; living in major urban centres was predictive of greater psychological need; being closer to the time of diagnosis was related to greater need for help in the physical and daily living domain; having prostate cancer that is not in remission, having received radiation therapy, and lower levels of education were predictive of greater need for help in patient care and support. Of the total sample, 55% of men had used alternative cancer treatments in the past 12 months, with younger and more educated men more likely to use alternative therapies. Interventions in sexuality, psychological concerns and informational support are priorities for men with prostate cancer. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.