Saturday, September 3, 2016

Unmet Needs of Cancer People

Finally someone figured out that there might be unmet needs of people after a cancer diagnosis.  A study was recently done:

"Cancer [people*] face unmet needs. These are needs which lack enough service or support for survivors to achieve optimal well-being. Understanding the needs of cancer survivors can help guide services and support to meet the needs of [people*]."

To complete this study, they asked over 9000 people one question: "Please tell us about any needs you have now as a cancer [person*] that ARE NOT being met to your satisfaction". Only one question. But they could answer how they wanted and then they sorted out all the results.

Here are the answers:

Physical needs: 38.2% needs affecting the body, including pain, symptoms, sexual dysfunction, diet, exercise, and rest. 
Financial problems: 20.3% 
Education and information needs: 19.5% needs which were related to unanswered questions and the lack of information about cancer. 
Personal control problems: 16.4%  related to one's ability to maintain autonomy over one's body. Health care system needs: 15.5% 
Access to supplies, medications, and transportation services: 13.8% 
Emotional and mental health problems: 13.7% had emotional and mental health problems
Social support needs: 12.7% 
Problems with social norms, discrimination, misinformation, and policy: 10%
Communication needs: 8.5% 
Problems with their relationship with healthcare workers: 8.25% 

Some groups had more than one problem, in fact women with breast cancer had an average of 2.88 unmet needs.

I was glad to see some kind of research into this. I feel that the medical profession takes care of you during diagnosis and treatment and then that's it. You get a 'come back and see me in 6 months'. And the patient is left grasping at straws. So of course there are more needs for the patients. But the bottom line didn't do much for me at all:

"The authors concluded that the needs of cancer [people*] are important and should be researched further."
I'll just hope for more research.
*I can't use the S-word, I find it offensive.


Unknown said...

I am very glad to see that there is research on the unmet needs of cancer people. I would definitely want to know if they had a social worker to speak to because I am currently interning at the Veterans Hospital and they have access to the oncology social worker. They can meet with her in person or can call her. So far I have seen her help the Veterans with transportation, education, and emotional support. It’s disheartening that there are so many people with cancer that have unmet needs and I hope when I am working in this field I will be able to decrease that number with the cancer patients I will be working with.

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

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