Supportive Care Needs for Women With Gynecological Cancer and Their Relatives During the Prediagnostic Period

The prediagnostic process for gynecological cancer has become quite rapid. It gives the woman limited time to handle new information about her illness and make decisions. The existing support initiatives in Denmark focus on aftercare rather than on needs for support in the prediagnostic period.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the need for supportive care among women with gynecological cancer and their relatives during the prediagnostic period.
A qualitative descriptive method was applied to semistructured interviews. We interviewed, at different times in the prediagnostic period, 16 women with gynecological cancer and 16 relatives. Participants were recruited at 1 hospital during a 3-month period.
Women in the prediagnostic period require an overview of the treatment process supplemented with information, involvement, and help to prepare themselves for treatment. Relatives need involvement, someone to talk to, an overview of the prediagnostic period, and advice on communication about cancer with children and teenagers in the family.
Women with gynecological cancer should be encouraged to let their relatives get involved in the prediagnostic period. Information about the prediagnostic period should be readily accessible at a time when the women and their relatives need this. Internet-based information could be a relevant solution in the prediagnostic period.
Issues concerning support of the relatives and needs among families with children should be spotted in the early diagnostic phase of patients with gynecological cancer. More knowledge about the prediagnostic period should be made available as eHealth solutions.
Further information

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)457-67
Number of pages10
Publication categoryResearch

Collaborative partners

  • Syddansk Universitet
  • Odense Universitetshospital
  • Odense University Hospital

    Research areas

  • cancer - kræftpatienter, gynækologi, gynækologiske lidelser, pårørende