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Appraising the self-assessed support needs of Turkish women with breast cancer


Behice Erci, Atatürk Universitesi, Hemśirelik Yüksekokulu, Erzurum 250240, Türkiye (e-mail:


The purposes of this study were to establish the range of needs of women with breast cancer and to examine how women’s needs might form clusters that could provide the basis for developing a standardized scale of needs for use by local breast care nurses in the evaluation of care. The sample consisted of 143 women with breast cancer who were admitted to the outpatient and inpatient oncology clinics in a university hospital in Erzurum, Turkey. The data were collected by questionnaire, and included demographic characteristics and the self-assessed support needs of women with breast cancer. Statistical analyses have shown that the standardized scale of needs has statistically acceptable levels of reliability and validity. The women’s support needs mostly clustered in Family and Friends (79%) and After Care (78.3%). The most frequently required support category was Family and Friend; however, the women were in need of support of all categories. In terms of age ranges, there are statistically significant differences in relation to Femininity and Body Image, and Family and Friends of the seven categories. Women experienced a high level of needs associated with a diagnosis of breast cancer. The results in this study should increase awareness among cancer care professionals about a range of psychosocial needs and may help them target particular patient groups for particular support interventions.