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eISSN: 1643-3750

Distribution and Determinants of Unmet Need for Supportive Care Among Women with Breast Cancer in China

Shouhua Wang, Yanqing Li, Chaozhuo Li, Yijun Qiao, Shuling He

Department of Oncology, The Affiliated Hospital of Weifang Medical College, Weifang, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR1680-1687

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905282

Available online: 2018-03-21

Published: 2018-03-21


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the need for supportive care among women suffering from breast cancer in China and to identify its potential determinants to inform the development of effective and efficient healthcare services across different settings.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a tertiary-care hospital in Weifang, China, between July 2015 and January 2016, all women attending the Breast Cancer Clinic for regular physical examinations after treatment for breast cancer were consecutively recruited. The 34-item Supportive Care Needs Survey tool (Chinese version) (SCNS-SF34-C) was used to assess the unmet needs among participants.
RESULTS: Among 264 recruited patients, based on at least single-item endorsement, 60.2% had moderate to high level of need for supportive care, while only 13.3% expressed no need. Lack of information regarding health systems was the most common domain with moderate to high unmet needs, more so among rural patients (8 vs. 5 out of 10). In each information-related domain, huge unmet need was observed among all patients irrespective of urban or rural residence. Both overall and individual information-related domain-specific unmet needs were significantly higher among rural patients as opposed to their urban counterparts. Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant rural-urban variation of unmet needs. Moreover, education and post-diagnosis time duration were negatively associated with unmet needs while stage of cancer was positively associated with these unmet needs.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a huge burden of unmet needs for information on the healthcare system among breast cancer survivors in China. Rural residence, less education, advanced stage of cancer, and shorter duration since diagnosis were the identified determinants requiring targeted intervention.

Keywords: Rural Population, Urban Population



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