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Support Care Cancer. 2014 Nov;22(11):2899-909. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2264-6. Epub 2014 May 15.

Factors associated with haematological cancer survivors experiencing a high level of unmet need across multiple items of supportive care: a cross-sectional survey study.

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  • 1Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, Faculty of Health, The University of Newcastle & Hunter Medical Research Institute, HMRI Building, University Drive, Callaghan, 2308, NSW, Australia,



This study aimed to identify subgroups of haematological cancer survivors who report a "high/very high" level of unmet need on multiple (ā‰„7) items of supportive care.


Haematological cancer survivors, aged 18 to 80 years at recruitment were selected from four Australian state-based cancer registries. Eligible survivors were sent a survey containing the Survivor Unmet Needs Survey (SUNS). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify characteristics associated with haematological cancer survivors reporting a "high/very high" level of unmet need on ā‰„7 items of the SUNS.


Of the 696 survivors included in this study, 175 (nā€‰=ā€‰25 %) reported a "high/very high" level of unmet need on seven or more items of the SUNS. Survivors who: had relocated due to their cancer (OR: 2.04; 95 % CI: 1.18, 3.52), had difficulty paying bills (OR: 2.42; 95 % CI: 1.34, 4.38), had used up their savings as a result of cancer (OR: 1.90; 95 % CI: 1.06, 3.40), and were classified as having above normal symptoms of depression (OR: 3.65; 95 % CI: 2.17, 6.15) and stress (OR: 5.94; 95 % CI: 3.22, 10.95) on the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) had statistically significantly higher odds of reporting seven or more "high/very high" unmet needs.


Additional and intensive supportive care may be needed for this subgroup of haematological cancer survivors experiencing multiple "high/very high" unmet needs. Assistance with accessing relevant financial support and highly accessible services that provide emotional and information support, such as online and telephone peer support programs may prove beneficial in addressing the needs of this subgroup of haematological cancer survivors. It is suggested that future, methodologically rigorous intervention studies assess such strategies.

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