Is There a Difference in Unmet Supportive Care Needs Between Older and Younger Outpatients Receiving Chemotherapy?


JOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE CARE, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/08258597211044248
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: assessment of healthcare needs, cancer care facilities, chemotherapy, health services needs and demand, unmet needs, CANCER-PATIENTS, HEALTH, PREFERENCES, DEPRESSION, PREVALENCE, ATTITUDES, SEXUALITY, SURVIVORS, ANXIETY, PEOPLE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: This study investigated whether there was a difference in unmet supportive care needs between older and younger cancer patients who receive chemotherapy. Background: Physiological, physical, cognitive, and social functions, which play a key role in coping with cancer, are impaired due to aging. Age-related physiological changes and psychosocial factors and comorbid medical conditions make some of the needs of older cancer patients unique and complex. At the heart of meeting these needs lies the concept of supportive care. First step of meeting their needs is to determine these needs. Study Design and Methods: The study was conducted in the Daytime Treatment Unit of the oncology hospital of a university in Ankara, Turkey. The study sample consisted of 93 patients aged 65 years or older and 93 patients under 65 years of age. Both groups were similar in terms of sex, cancer type, and chemotherapy protocols. Data were collected using a Patient Information Form and Supportive Care Needs Scale-Short Turkish Version and analyzed using descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis H test, and Bonferroni correction. Results: Participants had a median total score of 1.92. Their "daily life needs" and "sexuality needs" subscale scores were highest and lowest, respectively. Older patients had lower median total scores than younger patients. Younger patients had higher median "health care and information needs" and "sexuality needs" subscale scores than older patients. Conclusion: Elderly patients reported fewer unmet needs than younger patients. This may be due to age-related cultural factors as they may have difficulty expressing their needs. Implications: Results suggest to focus on the fact that patients' needs change with age and that they have difficulty expressing their needs.