Experiences and views of nurses about unmet needs of older cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: A qualitative study


PALLIATIVE & SUPPORTIVE CARE, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1478951522000098
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Aged, Healthcare service needs and demands, Healthcare services for the aged, Oncology nursing, Supportive care needs, GERIATRIC ASSESSMENT, ONCOLOGY, HEALTH, RISK, AGE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objective The aim is to understand the experiences and views of oncology nurses about the unmet care needs of older cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Nurses play the key role in evaluating and determining the needs of this special group. Method A phenomenological descriptive qualitative study with convenience sampling was used. Participants were referred by the Turkish Oncology Nursing Society. The study participants were 12 nurses aged 34-53 years, with oncology experience between 5 and 27 years. The data were collected using semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim with concurrent analyses and data collection. Thematic content analysis was used to determine common domains. Results The study data were categorized into 3 contexts, 12 themes, and 37 subthemes. The first context, "unmet needs", includes physical care, psychological care, and social care themes. The second context, "barriers to meeting those needs", comprises the theme of patient characteristics, attitude of family, attitude of the nurses/healthcare team, health system, and culture. The last context is "suggestions for meeting needs". Nurses play an important role in identifying and meeting unmet psychosocial needs. Significance of results The study indicated that older cancer patients had problems in identifying, expressing, and making demands for their needs and that their culture contributed to this situation. Nurses serving in the outpatient chemotherapy units should conduct a holistic assessment of older cancer patients, be aware that these patients may not be able to express their needs, be more sensitive toward them, and ensure that the voice of the older patients is heard.