• haematological malignancies;
  • information need;
  • leukaemia;
  • lymphoma;
  • multiple myeloma

Aims and objectives

To provide insight into the perceived need for information of patients with haematological malignancies.


Providing timely and accurate information to patients diagnosed with a haematological malignancy is a challenge in clinical practice; treatment often has to start promptly, with little time to inform patients.


Literature review.


A comprehensive literature search was conducted from all available literature to May 2013 in the databases: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO and PubMed (Medline). Relevant studies were reviewed regarding the perceived need for information on various topics, sources of information and satisfaction with information provided.


The initial search revealed 215 articles, fourteen of which were relevant. Patients need basic information on the disease (diagnosis and diagnostics), treatment (various treatment options, side effects and duration), prognosis (curability and prolonging life) and all other topics (recovery, self-care and psychosocial functioning). Need for detailed information varied between studies. Patients expressed a higher need for medical than for psychosocial information. Patients preferred to receive information from their doctors the most, followed by nurses. Most studies described patients' satisfaction with the information provided.


Based on the limited number of data available, medical information is for patients of higher priority compared to psychosocial information. Patients need basic information on diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and all other topics. Need for detailed information varied between studies. Patients were satisfied with the provided information, preferably offered by doctors and nurses.

Relevance to clinical practice

The perceived need for information and satisfaction with the information provided differs strongly between patients. In clinical practice, more attention is needed for information tailored to the patient, taking into account important moderating factors such as age, type of cancer, time since diagnosis, treatment modality and coping style.