Unmet care needs of advanced cancer patients and their informal caregivers

This systematic review aimed to identify the unmet needs in patients with advanced cancer and their informal caregivers, and summarize the tools used for needs assessment. Of the 50 included studies, 12 unmet need domains were identified in patients with advanced cancer, and 7 among informal caregivers. For patients, the three most common domains were psychological, physical and healthcare service and information. The most unmet items were emotional support, fatigue and information about benefits and side effects of treatment. For caregivers, the most common unmet needs were information needs, which included illness and treatment information and care-related information. Findings from this review highlight that both advanced cancer patients and their informal caregivers experienced a wide range of unmet needs, and this comprehensive assessment can enable the development of evidence-based, tailored interventions in advanced cancer.

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