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Supportive care of rural women with breast cancer in Tasmania, Australia: changing needs over time


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Minstrell, ML, Winzenberg, TM, Rankin, N, Hughes, CJ and Walker, JH 2007 , 'Supportive care of rural women with breast cancer in Tasmania, Australia: changing needs over time' , Psycho-Oncology, vol. 17, no. 5 , pp. 58-65 , doi: 10.1002/pon.1174.

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Providing for patients’ psychosocial needs is a potential means of minimising cancer morbidity.
Needs assessments can guide responsive patient-centred care. A longitudinal survey of women
with early breast cancer consulting a breast nurse in a primarily rural state of Australia was
undertaken to measure unmet supportive care needs, identify changes in unmet needs across
time and compare results with previous studies. Needs assessments were completed with the
Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) at 1 month ðn ¼ 74Þ and 3 months ðn ¼ 83Þ postdiagnosis.
Access to services was also examined. High levels of psychological and health system
and information needs were identified at 1 month post-diagnosis, but these decreased
significantly at 3 months post-diagnosis. Sexuality domain needs increased significantly during
the same time. Compared to a previous SCNS study of rural women with breast cancer, unmet
supportive care needs in this study were significantly lower than previously reported, although
assistance with energy levels (i.e. fatigue) continues to be an unmet need for women with breast
cancer. Results suggest there have been positive cultural changes within healthcare systems,
specifically in better informing patients and providing support. Although services appear to be
more responsive to breast cancer patients, significant unmet needs still exist.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Minstrell, ML and Winzenberg, TM and Rankin, N and Hughes, CJ and Walker, JH
Keywords: unmet needs; supportive care; rural; cancer; oncology
Journal or Publication Title: Psycho-Oncology
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN: 1057-9249
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/pon.1174
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