Mapping the quality of life and unmet needs of urban women with metastatic breast cancer


Sanchia Aranda, Education Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag 1, A’Beckett Street, Melbourne Victoria 8006, Australia (e-mail:


Enhancing quality of life and reducing the unmet needs of women are central to the successful management of advanced breast cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate the quality of life and support and information needs of urban women with advanced breast cancer. This study was conducted at four large urban hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. A consecutive sample of 105 women with advanced breast cancer completed a questionnaire that contained the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Q-C30 and the Supportive Care Needs Survey. Between one quarter and a third of the women reported difficulties with their physical, role and social functioning, and a little over a quarter of the women reported poor global health status. Fatigue was a problem for most women. The highest unmet needs were in the psychological and health information domains. Almost no differences in unmet needs were detected when comparing different demographic and disease characteristics of women. Health care providers should routinely monitor the quality of life and needs of women with advanced breast cancer to ensure that appropriate treatment, information or supportive services are made available.