Assessing Needs in Cancer Patients: Unmet Needs and Feasibility of Assessment
1School of Psychology, Bangor University
2North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Background: Healthcare should address the needs of individual patients. This feasibility study develops and implements a needs assessment within routine clinical oncology practice. Methods: Our previous work resulted in the CancerCAN-22, a multi-domain needs assessment tool. 43 outpatients were recruited (IG) to complete the CancerCAN-22 and the HADS and PHQ-9 (mood). On-referrals and service/advice provision were compared with a matched control group (CG). Findings: 66 unmet needs were reported by the IG. Females, older participants (66-80 yrs), and those with gynaecological or liver cancer reported the most unmet needs. Time since diagnosis (0-3m; 4-12m; 13+m) did not affect total unmet needs however those diagnosed within 4-12 months experienced significantly higher HADS-distress and HADS-anxiety compared to the 13+m group. Whilst total on-referrals did not vary between IG and CG, the IG were more often referred to community or complementary services. Discussion: Findings reveal individual variability in unmet needs and the feasibility of completing an individual needs assessment in a clinical setting and making on-referrals as appropriate to identified unmet needs.