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Socio-demographic predictors of high support needs in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients


  • Financial support was generously provided by Geneva University Hospitals, as part of the quality of care fund. The funding agreement ensured the authors' complete independence.

Anne-Claude Griesser, Multidisciplinary Oncology Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Rue du Bugnon 46, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland (e-mail:


GRIESSER A.-C., VLASTOS G., MOREL L., BEAUME C., SAPPINO A.-P. & HALLER G. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care
Socio-demographic predictors of high support needs in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients

This study aimed to identify high support needs and their socio-demographic predictors to improve supportive care for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. A cross-sectional study measured patients' needs and unsatisfied support needs by the supportive care needs survey (SCNS-34), administered after surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Socio-demographic, disease and treatment characteristics completed data collection. A total of 308 questionnaires were completed with a response rate of 88%. The most frequent support needs (73.3% of patients) related to information and the highest unsatisfied support needs to the management of emotions and daily life (36.3–39.6% of patients). Younger age predicted high and dissatisfied support needs (P < 0.05). Patients born outside Switzerland or with a lower level of education had more needs in daily living and psychological domains (P < 0.05). Being born outside Switzerland also predicted dissatisfaction with information provided. Being parent was a predictor of significant needs in the daily living domain after adjusting for disease and treatment characteristics (P= 0.01). Therefore, information, psychological and daily living support for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients should be strongly reinforced, particularly in patients being born outside Switzerland, those with children or being younger. For the latter, support in sexuality domain should also be emphasised.