A closer look at unmet needs at the end of primary treatment for breast cancer: A longitudinal pilot study

Jessica L. Burris, Kent Armeson, Katherine Regan Sterba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study describes the nature of unmet needs (UN) as women with breast cancer transition from "patient" to "survivor." Data are from a longitudinal study of 90 women with stage I-III breast cancer. Data were collected 2-3 weeks before, and 10 weeks after, completion of radiation. A modified Cancer Survivors Unmet Needs (CaSUN) instrument measured UN. Most participants reported ≥1 unmet need at baseline (80.00%) and follow-up (69.31%), with UN across physical, healthcare, information, psychosocial, and survivorship domains. Total number of UN declined over time, t(87) = 3.00, p <.01. UN likely to persist from baseline to follow-up involved cancer recurrence concerns, stress management, household responsibilities, and others not acknowledging/understanding cancer. Younger women (p =.01) and those with more severe (p <.01), life-interfering (p =.01) symptoms had greater burden of UN. This study highlights the dynamics of UN in the weeks before and after primary treatment. Future studies should identify long-term consequences of persistent UN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • cancer survivorship
  • supportive care needs
  • unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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