Supportive care needs of individuals with lung cancer

Can Oncol Nurs J. Winter 2010;20(1):15-22. doi: 10.5737/1181912x2011522.


The main purpose of this study was to identify the range of supportive care needs of patients diagnosed with lung cancer who attended an outpatient, regional cancer centre. Lung cancer has more than a physical impact on those who are diagnosed with the disease, yet relatively little has been reported on their needs beyond those for physical symptom management. A total of 88 patients participated in this study by completing a self-report questionnaire. The data provided clear indication that a range of needs, both physical and psychosocial, exist for this group of patients and, furthermore, remain unmet. Lack of energy, pain, and concern about those close to them were reported most frequently. Patients also expressed distress because of difficulty managing their needs and many indicated wanting help to cope with the challenges they were experiencing. However, a sizeable proportion (45% to 58%) indicated they did not want help from staff at the cancer centre for some need items despite considerable distress arising from those remaining unmet (e.g., lack of energy, fears about cancer spreading, not being able to do the things you used to do). Suggestions for practice and future research are offered to improve the care for this group of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Social Support*
  • Spirituality