Cancer survivors' rehabilitation needs in a primary health care context

Fam Pract. 2009 Jun;26(3):221-30. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmp004. Epub 2009 Mar 5.


Background: Studies of cancer survivors' rehabilitation needs have mostly addressed specific areas of needs, e.g. physical aspects and/or rehabilitation needs in relation to specific cancer types.

Objective: To assess cancer survivors' perceived need for physical and psychosocial rehabilitation, whether these needs have been presented to and discussed with their GP.

Methods: A survey among a cohort of cancer survivors approximately 15 months after diagnosis. The questionnaire consisted of an ad hoc questionnaire on rehabilitation needs and the two validated questionnaires, the SF-12 and the Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire, the QLQ C-30 version 3.

Results: Among 534 eligible patients, we received 353 (66.1%) answers. Two-thirds of the cancer survivors had discussed physical rehabilitation needs with their GPs. Many (51%) feared cancer relapse, but they rarely presented this fear to the GP or the hospital staff. The same applied to social problems and problems within the family. Good physical and mental condition and low confidence in the GP were associated with no contact to the GP after hospital discharge.

Conclusion: Cancer survivors have many psychosocial rehabilitation needs and intervention should effectively target these needs. If this task is assigned to the GPs, they need to be proactive when assessing psychosocial aspects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Denmark
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Survivors / psychology*