Supportive Care Needs of Cancer Survivors

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 11:40 AM

M Eileen Walsh, PhD, MSN, BSN
Health Promotion Outcomes Systems Policy, College of Nursing, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Debra Reis, MSN, RN, CNP
ProMedica Cancer Institute, Sylvania, OH
Tisha Jones, MSW
ProMedica System Grants, ProMedica, Toledo, OH

Learning Objective 1: describe supportive care needs identified by cancer survivors.

Learning Objective 2: discuss cancer survivors interest in services and programs.

Over 11.9 million Americans have survived cancer; 7 million are aged 65 years or older.  Healthcare providers need to understand the unique needs of this growing population. The purposes of this study were to 1) assess supportive care needs of cancer survivors and 2) determine interest in services and programs. A convenience sample of cancer survivors at a midwest cancer institute were invited to participate.  Cancer survivors  completed 1) Supportive Care Needs Survey-Long Form, 59 items addressing domains of psychological, health system and information, physical and daily living, patient care and support, and sexuality and 2) a 2-page survey about services and programs.  A total of 201 subjects (123 women, 78 men), ages 30-70 years (mean= 64) were enrolled.  Participants were stages I-IV cancer: 23% breast, 17% gastrointestinal, 16% blood, 16% lung, 16% reproductive, and 12% other.  The majority (54%) was receiving chemotherapy, 19% radiation, 7% combination and 19% had completed therapy.  Patient care and support needs were identified as no need – satisfied; other domains were rated as satisfied and low –moderate need. Participants aged 50-59 years had higher health system and information needs (p=.004); participants aged 30-49, 50-59 and 60-69 years reported higher needs related to sexuality p=.003, <0.0001, 0.038 respectively.  Participants aged 30-49 and 50-59 years reported higher average psychological domain scores p=0.049 and 0.037 respectively.  Females had significantly higher psychological needs (p=0.03).  Of the 71% (143/201) respondents the services and programs with the highest interest were: massage therapy (40%), relaxation therapy (35%), screenings (22%) and survivor series (19%).  E-mail (15%), Face book (10%) and web/chat groups (6%) were the top methods. Healthcare providers should consider age in addressing supportive care needs of survivors.  Females who survive cancer may require more help dealing with psychological issues.   Massage and relaxation therapies should be incorporated into survivor clinics.