There are knowledge gaps regarding the needs of cancer survivors in Connecticut and their utilization of supportive services.
A convenience sample of cancer survivors residing in Connecticut were invited to complete a self-administered (print or online) needs assessment (English or Spanish). Participants identified commonly occurring problems and completed a modified version of the Supportive Care Needs Survey Short Form (SCNS-SF34) assessing needs across five domains (psychosocial, health systems/information, physical/daily living, patient care /support, and sexuality).
The majority of the 1,516 cancer survivors (76.4%) were women, 47.5% had completed high school or some college, 66.1% were diagnosed ≤ 5 years ago, and 87.7% were non-Hispanic white. Breast was the most common site (47.6%), followed by prostate, colorectal, lung, and melanoma. With multivarite adjustment, need on the SCNS-SF34 was greatest among women, younger survivors, those diagnosed within the past year, those not free of cancer, and Hispanics/Latinos. We also observed some differences by insurance and education status. In addition, we assessed the prevalence of individual problems; with the most common being weight gain/loss, memory changes, paying for care, communication, and not being told about services.
Overall and domain specific needs in this population of cancer survivors were relatively low, although participants reported a wide range of problems. Greater need was identified among cancer survivors who were female, younger, Hispanic/Latino, and recently diagnosed.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
These findings can be utilized to target interventions and promote access to available resources for Connecticut cancer survivors.