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Br J Cancer. 1990 December; 62(6): 1000–1003.
PMCID: PMC1971569

Identifying priorities of psychosocial need in cancer patients.

Abstract

Inconsistent findings on the efficacy of psychosocial interventions in cancer may be due to their lack of specificity. The aim of this study was to identify priorities of psychosocial need among cancer patients currently receiving treatment in Western Sydney (NSW) as a prelude to targeted intervention. A sample of 188 patients (129 female, median age 52 years, median time since diagnosis 12 months), with various solid tumours, completed a self-report ranking questionnaire listing eight major areas of psychosocial need based on a literature search of relevant studies. The resulting ranking of priorities was: family (1), dealing with emotional stress (2), getting information (3), money (4), work (5), social life (6), sex life (7), and dealing with hospital staff (8). These priorities were independent of demographic characteristics, including time since diagnosis, suggesting that support in the areas of major need may be just as important during follow-up as it is at diagnosis. Males reported less distress than females, and patients with cancer of the head/neck or breast reported most distress. To be maximally effective, psychosocial intervention for cancer patients should focus on the principal areas of family interaction, effective stress management, and access to information.

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Articles from British Journal of Cancer are provided here courtesy of Cancer Research UK