Journal Article

The experiences and supportive care needs of UK patients with pancreatic cancer: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey


Objectives. Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have the poorest survival prognosis of any cancer. This survey aimed to describe their experiences of care and supportive care needs to inform future service provision. Design. Cross-sectional questionnaire survey of pancreatic cancer patients in the UK. Setting. Individuals at any stage along the care pathway were recruited via five NHS sites in the UK, and online, from January to June 2018. Participants. 274 individuals completed the questionnaire (78% (215) were completed online). Approximately half of participants were diagnosed within the last year (133/274). Of 212 providing gender details, 82 were male and 130 female. Ninety percent (192/213) described themselves as White British. Primary Outcome Measures. Experiences of communication and information; involvement in treatment decisions; supportive care needs. Results. Communication with, and care received from, clinical staff were generally reported positively. However, 29% (75/260) of respondents did not receive enough information at diagnosis, and 10% (25/253) felt they were not involved in decisions about their treatment, but would have liked to be. Supportive care needs were greatest in psychological and physical/daily living domains. 49% (108/221) respondents reported one or more moderate/high unmet needs within the last month, of which the most commonly reported were: dealing with uncertainty about the future; fears about the cancer spreading; not being able to do things they used to; concerns about those close to them; lack of energy; anxiety; feelings of sadness and feeling down/depressed. Experiences were poorer, and unmet supportive care needs greater, in patients with unresectable disease. Conclusions. Patients with pancreatic cancer have unmet information and support needs across the cancer trajectory. Psychological and physical support appear to be the biggest gaps in care. Needs should be assessed and supportive care interventions implemented from the point of diagnosis, and monitored regularly to help patients live as good a quality of life as possible.

Attached files


Watson, Eila
Brett, Jo
Hay, Harriet
Witwicki, Cara
Perris, Anna
Poots, Alan J.
Sizmur, Steve
Soonawalla, Zahir
Tallet, Amy

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-10-17

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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