Gynaecologic cancer patients' needs and experiences of supportive health services in New Zealand



Background and Objectives: Psychosocial care across the cancer continuum is a core component of quality gynaecologic cancer services. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify needs for supportive care in a sample of New Zealand women and to understand to what extent they feel their needs are being met by health services.

Methods: Purposive sampling was used to recruit women (n=28) diagnosed with a gynaecologic cancer. Unstructured interviews were conducted and a thematic analysis was performed.

Results: Interviews revealed a range of shared and unique needs and support experiences. Three themes emerged reflecting participants' sense of control, need for validation of the cancer experience and organisation of their care. Findings suggest issues of continuity and coordination of care result in unmet support needs across the continuum of care, but primarily after treatment finishes.

Conclusion: While broadly consistent with previous results, findings highlight the need for a patient-focused, comprehensive, integrated approach to supportive cancer care encompassing diagnosis, treatment and long-term recovery. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.