Care needs after primary breast cancer treatment. Survivors' associated sociodemographic and medical characteristics
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 125–132, January 2013
How to Cite
Pauwels, E. E. J., Charlier, C., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Lechner, L. and Van Hoof, E. (2013), Care needs after primary breast cancer treatment. Survivors' associated sociodemographic and medical characteristics. Psycho-Oncology, 22: 125–132. doi: 10.1002/pon.2069
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 17 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Received: 24 FEB 2011
- breast cancer;
- care needs
This study examines the care needs of rehabilitating breast cancer survivors and determines what sociodemographic and medical characteristics are associated with these care needs.
A large-scale cross-sectional study (n = 465, response rate = 65%) was conducted among survivors who had ended primary treatment less than 6 months previously. Questionnaires were completed regarding participants' care needs, how these needs were met and the time and manner preferred for receiving information and support. Care needs regarding seven specific rehabilitation topics were assessed separately: (1) physical functioning, (2) psychological functioning, (3) self and body image, (4) sexuality, (5) relationship with partner, (6) relationship with others, and (7) work, return to work and social security.
High unmet needs were reported across all topics. The time preferred for receiving information and support across most topics was the period of breast cancer treatment. The most popular sources of information and support were informative brochures, consultation with a psychologist, information sessions and an informative website. Younger age and lower income were associated with care needs after treatment.
A valuable contribution is made to the literature on post-treatment care needs by comprehensively mapping unmet needs and the preferred time and source for meeting those needs. This study leads to greater awareness of the struggle facing breast cancer survivors and should guide those developing post-treatment interventions. As optimal tailoring to the needs of the target group is a prerequisite for success, preparatory needs assessment should be essential to the development of supportive interventions. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.