Research published in the European Journal of Cancer Care suggests that unmet physical and psychological needs of patients with lung cancer have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life and their ability to continue everyday activities.
The researchers analyzed the results of six studies involving 562 patients. Nearly two-thirds of the patients had been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer (stage III or IV), and most had been diagnosed for less than two years. There was a negative association between quality of life and unmet needs using two different measures. In two studies, the relationship was limited to physical and / or psychological needs.
Lack of energy and fatigue were common unmet needs in the physical realm, and uncertainty about the future, fears and worries were among the most common in the psychological realm.
This research highlights the high burden of unmet needs of people with lung cancer, which are often due to late diagnosis and the associated lack of curative treatment. There is a need for early intervention and adaptation of existing services to meet the unmet support needs in this cancer group. “
Simon Dunne, PhD, corresponding author, Dublin City University, in Ireland