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Supportive care of rural women with breast cancer in Tasmania, Australia: changing needs over time


Minstrell, ML and Winzenberg, TM and Rankin, N and Hughes, CJ and Walker, JH, Supportive care of rural women with breast cancer in Tasmania, Australia: changing needs over time , Psycho-Oncology, 17, (1) pp. 58-65. ISSN 1057-9249 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/pon.1174


Providing for patients' psychosocial needs is a potential means of minimising cancer morbidity. Needs assessments can guide responsive patient-centred care. A longitudinal survey of women with early breast cancer consulting a breast nurse in a primarily rural state of Australia was undertaken to measure unmet supportive care needs, identify changes in unmet needs across time and compare results with previous studies. Needs assessments were completed with the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) at 1 month (n=74) and 3 months (n = 83) post-diagnosis. Access to services was also examined. High levels of psychological and health system and information needs were identified at 1 month post-diagnosis, but these decreased significantly at 3 months post-diagnosis. Sexuality domain needs increased significantly during the same time. Compared to a previous SCNS study of rural women with breast cancer, unmet supportive care needs in this study were significantly lower than previously reported, although assistance with energy levels (i.e. fatigue) continues to be an unmet need for women with breast cancer. Results suggest there have been positive cultural changes within healthcare systems, specifically in better informing patients and providing support. Although services appear to be more responsive to breast cancer patients, significant unmet needs still exist.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health counselling
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Minstrell, ML (Dr Melinda Minstrell)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, TM (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
UTAS Author:Hughes, CJ (Dr Clarissa Hughes)
UTAS Author:Walker, JH (Professor Judi Walker)
ID Code:48207
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2014-12-03

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