Living with or beyond lymphoma: A rapid review of the unmet needs of lymphoma survivors

Psychooncology. 2022 Jul;31(7):1076-1101. doi: 10.1002/pon.5973. Epub 2022 Jun 27.


Objective: To establish an understanding of the unmet needs of people living with or beyond a lymphoma diagnosis. Survivors of lymphoma are at increased risk of unmet needs due to cancer, treatment-related toxicities and extended survivorship. Despite the rapidly growing numbers of lymphoma survivors, their needs and research priorities are underserved and undervalued, therefore left largely unaddressed.

Methods: A rapid review method and reflexive thematic analysis approach assimilated current knowledge. Eligibility criteria included quantitative, qualitative, or mixed approaches employing cross-sectional, longitudinal, cohort or review designs focused on the needs of adult lymphoma survivors (any subtype or stage of disease). Five databases: CINAHL, EMBASE, Medline, PsycInfo and Scopus, were systematically searched.

Results: Forty-seven studies met the inclusion criteria via a stringent screening process facilitated by NVivo. Almost 60 per cent of articles were published within the last five years and investigated a homogenous lymphoma sample. Most studies employed quantitative approaches (77%) and cross-sectional designs (67%). Studies were of high methodological quality. Five major themes were identified: disparity in health service delivery, the psychological impact of cancer, impactful and debilitating concerns, the monetary cost of survival and insufficient provision of survivorship information. A meta-analytical approach was not feasible due to the breadth of methodologies of included studies.

Conclusions: This review shows that lymphoma survivors experience a myriad of unmet needs across multiple domains, reinforcing the need for lymphoma-specific research. However, more research is needed to advance and achieve informed decision-making relating to survivorship care, placing due attention to the needs and research priorities of lymphoma survivors.

Keywords: Hodgkin; blood cancer; cancer survivorship; haematological malignancy; lymphoma; needs; non-Hodgkin; psycho-oncology; quality of life; unmet needs.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma* / therapy
  • Needs Assessment
  • Quality of Life
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • Survivorship