There are 1.2 million long-term cancer survivors in the United Kingdom. Existing research on the health and supportive care needs of these survivors is sparse and inconclusive. This study investigated health status, psychological morbidity, and supportive care needs in long-term cancer survivors in the United Kingdom.
Five to 16 years after diagnosis, 1,275 eligible survivors of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers were approached to participate in a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire explored health status (European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions), psychological morbidity (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and supportive care needs (Cancer Survivors' Unmet Needs Measure). Data were analyzed by type of cancer and time since diagnosis. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of unmet supportive care needs.
The response rate was 51.7% (659 survivors). Overall health status and levels of psychological morbidity were consistent with population norms. At least one unmet supportive care need was reported by 47.4% of survivors, but overall numbers of unmet needs were
low (mean, 2.8; standard deviation, 4.8). The most frequently endorsed unmet need was for help to manage concerns about cancer recurrence. Trait anxiety (P < .001), nondischarged status (P < .01), dissatisfaction with discharge (P < .01), and receipt of hormonal therapy (P < .01) were predictive of unmet supportive care needs.
The findings suggest a majority of long-term breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer survivors who have no signs of recurrence report good health and do not have psychological morbidity or large numbers of unmet supportive care needs. A minority of long-term survivors may benefit from ongoing support. The identification and support of those long-term survivors with ongoing needs is a key challenge for health care professionals.
Harrison, SWatson, EWard, AKhan, NTurner, DAdams, EForman, DRoche, MRose, P
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Clinical Health Care
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