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Abstract | Full HTML Article | PDF ecancer 12 873 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2018.873

Research

What information do cancer patients want and how well are their needs being met?

The goal of this study is to determine the type of information cancer patients need and to measure the extent to which these information needs are met by measuring patients’ levels of satisfaction. A self-administered questionnaire developed through extensive literature reviews was pilot tested on 11 cancer patients using convenience sampling in a large ambulatory cancer centre in Singapore. All eligible patients attending the centre during a 5-month period were invited to complete the 76-item survey that had been designed to evaluate self-reported information needs and level of satisfaction with the information received while undergoing cancer treatment. The importance of information and the level of satisfaction with needs being met were assessed with the 5-point Likert scale. A total of 411 patients (50%) completed the survey. Almost all patients wanted information about the disease, tests and investigations, treatment, side-effects, sexuality, psychosocial support and financial matters, and most items listed in the questions in each selection were rated as important or very important. Responses indicate that patients were generally satisfied with the information provided especially on diagnosis and diagnostic tests, treatment and overall experience but there are information needs that need to be addressed more efficiently and effectively. The findings of this study support previous research which indicates that cancer patients who are receiving treatment have many information needs. Respondents were generally satisfied with the information provided, although some discrepancies were noted which reflect the complexities associated with cancer patient education.

Keywords: patient information needs, cancer, communication, satisfaction, importance of information, sexuality, supportive care background

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Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

Published by

ecancer Global Foundation