Breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy reports more unmet supportive care needs in the early treatment phase, than patients treated only with radiotherapy.

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Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Chemo-therapy Reports More Unmet Supportive Care Needs in the Early Treatment Phase, than Patients Treated Only with Radio-therapy Jensen-Johansen, Mikael Birkelund, Meldgaard, Anette, Henriksen, Jette, Villadsen, Ingrid VIA University College, Holstebro, Denmark Aims: The purpose was to identify unmet supportive care needs in the early treatment phase of women treated for breast cancer and to investigate differences in needs between groups treated with chemo-therapy and radiationtherapy. If it is possible to identify early unmet needs, it may be possible to predict levels of unmet needs in the post-treatment phase and target an early rehabilitation to specific groups and with specific interventions. Population: Over a six-month period, 123 Danish women treated with mastectomy or lumpectomy, were assessed for eligibility in the midst of their primary treatment period. Eighty-five percent agreed to participate and 100 women filled out the baseline questionnaire. Forty-five women were under treatment with radiation-therapy, forty-nine with chemo-therapy and four women were treated with both radiation- and chemotherapy. Design and methods: As part of a large battery of selfadministered questionnaires, the women filled out at home, the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34) together with demographic items (socioeconomic status, working hours, marital status etc.). The SCNS-SF34 includes 5 different domains of needs: Psychological-, Health system & information-, physical & daily living-, patient care & support-, and sexuality needs. Analysis: The subscales of the SCNS revealed good reliability (Cronbach’s alpha: .79 - .96) and the summated scores were skewed and therefore log-transformed. An independent samples t-test was conducted to compare the need scores for radiotherapy-group (R-group) and chemotherapy group (C-group). Results and interpretation: There was a significant difference between the C-group and R-group on physical and daily living needs [t(93)=-3,24, p=0,002] and sexuality needs [t(90)=-3,36, p=0,001], but the magnitude of the differences in the means were small (eta squared=0,10 & 0,11). The women treated with radio-therapy showed significant less unmet needs than the women treated with chemotherapy.
TidsskriftPalliative Medicine
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)211
StatusUdgivet - 2016


  • palliation
  • SCNS