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J Breast Cancer. 2012 Dec;15(4):454-61. doi: 10.4048/jbc.2012.15.4.454. Epub 2012 Dec 31.

Unmet Needs and Their Relationship with Quality of Life among Women with Recurrent Breast Cancer.

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1
Department of Surgery, Yonsei University Health System, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence and the effects of unmet needs on quality of life (QOL) among recurrent breast cancer survivors.

METHODS:

Completed questionnaires were collected from 52 women with recurrent breast cancer. Clinical and socio-demographic characteristics were reviewed, and the Supportive Care Needs Survey, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast Cancer Instrument, and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered. The frequency of unmet needs and the mean differences by patient characteristics and BDI scores were analyzed. The predictive value of unmet needs on QOL, controlling for socio-demographic variables and then for clinical variables, was analyzed in hierarchical regression models.

RESULTS:

The most common unmet needs belonged to the health system and information domain. The depressive group had greater unmet needs in the psychological domain (p<0.001), physical and daily living domain (p=0.001), and health and information domain (p=0.002). Patients with lower education attainment and those with lower performance status had greater unmet needs in the psychological needs (p=0.002) and in the physical and daily living needs domain (p=0.002), respectively. Unmet needs in the psychological domain (p=0.008), physical and daily living domain (p=0.022), and sexuality domain (p=0.040) strongly predicted QOL of women with recurrent breast cancer.

CONCLUSION:

Unmet needs were strong predictors for QOL among recurrent breast cancer patients. This suggests that QOL of women with recurrent breast cancer is possibly more affected by unmet needs than by patient's socio-demographic or clinical characteristics. Intervention strategies could be developed based on the identified needs of women with recurrent breast cancer in order to improve their QOL. Further longitudinal and prospective studies will be necessary to confirm the independent impact of unmet needs on QOL.

KEYWORDS:

Breast carcinoma; Quality of life; Recurrence; Unmet needs

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