Disparities in Supportive Care Needs Between Cancer Patients and Their Health Professionals

Monday, 22 July 2013

Ji Hye Lee, MSN, RN1
Kwi Ock Park, MSN, RN2
Bo Lam Jeong, MA, MSW2
Sang Min Park, MPH, PhD, MD2
(1)Pediatric Nursing, Seoul National University, College of Nursing, Seoul, South Korea
(2)Center for Cancer Education and Information, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the disparities in supportive Care needs between cancer patients and their health professionals.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the optimal supportive care of cancer patients

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine disparities in supportive care needs between cancer patients and their health professionals.

Methods: We surveyed 286 cancer patients and 185 health professionals in a university cancer hospital from August to October 2012 with the NS-C (Needs Scale for Cancer) measured 5 point Likert and the scale was revised by informational contents in a university cancer hospital.

Results: Participants involved in this study were on different stage of their care; 36.7% in follow up care, 29.8% ongoing chemotherapy and 16.3% in operating stage. The mean duration after diagnosis was 36.90 (±54.05) months and 37.7% of patients was less than 1 year after diagnosis. The mean age of patients was 52.08(±10.11) years. Most of them (73.0%) were diagnosed breast cancer and 82.4% of patients was married. The health professionals were comprised of nurses (48.7%), technicians (21.6%), medical doctors (17.1%) and all of them work in a university cancer hospital. 67% of workers was female and 58% of them had experience of caring cancer patients in their family. There is some disparities in 8 items of supportive care needs among 18 items. The information needs of prognosis ( p= .004), second primary cancer screen ( p< .001), conserving mind energy (p= .006) and exercise ( p= .019) in cancer patients were higher than perception of information need in their health professionals. However, health care providers thought that the patients would need the information regarding symptom management of chemo-induced side effects (p< .001), GI symptoms (p< .001), counseling for anxiety and depression (p< .001), and financial aids (p= .001).

Conclusion: Many disparities in needs of cancer information between patients and their health professionals were strongly identified as results of this study. Thus, the personnel in cancer care system need to understand patients’ supportive care needs and provide a patient centered care optimally.