Unmet Supportive Cancer Care Needs: An Exploratory Quantitative Study in Rural Australia

Krishna Rachakonda, Mathew George, Mohsen Shafiei, Christopher Oldmeadow


Background: There is a discernible, often ignored under-evaluated care-management gap in supportive cancer care, where the estimated clinical outcome is seldom translated into patient-centered benefit.

Methods: The present research is an exploratory cross-sectional quantitative questionnaire survey study done in rural regions of Australia with the sole purpose of evaluating the care-management gap in terms of the unmet supportive needs of advanced cancer patients to provide baseline data for planning, drafting and implementing innovative and effective supportive care services that will address the specific priorities and unmet needs identified in this vulnerable population in the remote and rural regions.

Results: The questionnaire (NA-ACP) was comprised of 132 questions covering seven domains of supportive care. Three centers in rural regions of Australia were selected for the study. While center 1 had medical and surgical specialties, centers 2 and 3 were outreach oncology clinics with nurse-led chemotherapy units. A total sample of 75 patients getting continuous treatment procedures at these three oncology units was given the NA-ACP questionnaire.

Conclusion: The data from this study can be used to improve and inform care for this population by identifying specific unmet supportive needs.

World J Oncol. 2015;6(4):387-393
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/wjon928w


Palliative cancer care; Unmet needs; Supportive care; Questionnaire; Rural Australia

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