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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2004 Sep;8(3):200-7; discussion 208-10.

Information needs of women with recently diagnosed ovarian cancer--a longitudinal study.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg 413 45, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to investigate the information needs among patients with ovarian cancer and whether these information needs change over time. The information needs were evaluated three times, through structured interviews, and were based on the paired comparison approach developed by Degner and colleagues. A consecutive sample of patients (n = 82) with recently diagnosed ovarian cancer was asked to participate. Sixty-four patients (78%) chose to participate. The three different measurements of participants' information needs revealed only small changes in these needs. The three most important information needs, in all measurements, were information about the likelihood of cure, information about the stage and spreading of the disease, and information about different treatment options. Information regarding sexual attractiveness was the lowest ranked item in all measurements. Regarding subgroups (age, education) the only significant difference throughout all measurements was that younger patients rated issues of sexual attractiveness higher than older patients (p = 0.005). In this longitudinal study patients with ovarian cancer ranked information about the disease and its treatment (i.e. likelihood of cure, stage of disease, and treatment options) highest, and information about psychosocial aspects and self-care lowest. These findings are in accordance with the results from studies of women diagnosed with other types of cancer, which used the same methodology.

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