Assessment of Unmet Supportive Care Needs in Haematological Cancer Survivors

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.

2 General Hospital of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Nikolaos, Greece.

3 Venizeleio General Hospital, Heraklion, Greece.

4 Elderly Care Unit “Panagia Gorgoepikoos”, Heraklion, Greece

5 Faculty of Nursing, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece.


Background: Health needs assessment is crucial for the provision of individualized nursing care. However, many
patients report a significant number of unmet needs. The aim of the present study was the assessment of self-reported
unmet supportive care needs among haematological cancer survivors in Greece. Methods: 102 patients (mean age 66.2
years old) diagnosed with haematological cancer were included in a cross-sectional study, conducted in two major Greek
public hospitals, between October and December 2016. Patients’ needs were assessed using the ‘Needs Evaluation
Questionnaire’ (NEQ). Data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software for
Windows. Alfa-level (p-value) selected was 5%, bootstrap techniques were used for 95% CI estimation, χ2 was used for
differentiation control and Kuder-Richardson coefficient for reliability score assessment (ρ = 0.922). Results: Patients
reported higher needs levels “to receive less commiseration from other people” (48%), “more information about my
future condition” (44.1%) and “to feel more useful within my family” (42.2%). In contrast, patients reported lower
levels to the needs “to speak with a spiritual advisor” (11.8%), “to have more help with eating, dressing and going to
the bathroom” (13.7%) and “better attention from nurses” (18.6%). The mean score of satisfied patients (≥8/10) was
8.9 (SD 1.7). Associations between socio-demographic, hospitalization data and unmet needs groups were identified.
The less satisfied patients (<8/10) reported more informational needs about their diagnosis and their future condition
(p-value=0.002), about their exams and treatments (p-value=0.001), communicative (p-value <0.001), assistance
and treatment (p-value<0.001) and hospital infrastructure (p-value <0.001). Conclusion: Various factors seem to be
associated to the prevalent unmet care needs among haematological cancer patients. Establishing NEQ as a routine
needs assessment tool could aid health professionals to early identify patients’ needs in a busy clinical setting and
implement more individualized and patient-centered quality care.


Main Subjects