The impacts of unmet supportive care needs of cancer survivors in Australia: A qualitative systematic review

With the burden of cancer increasing worldwide, more people living with and beyond cancer have supportive care needs. Unmet supportive care needs have a range of impacts. A systematic review of qualitative studies of cancer survivors in Australia found that the impacts of unmet supportive care needs were widespread. The impacts related to the informational, physical, practical, emotional, and psychological consequences of personal experiences with cancer. These impacts negatively impacted the mental health of cancer survivors through feelings such as distress, confusion, and regret. Most notably, an absence of support following completion of cancer treatment, such as referrals for psychosocial services and survivorship care plans, caused cancer survivors to have feelings of isolation and abandonment. Unmet needs also created financial burden and return-to-work difficulties for cancer survivors, which unsurprisingly, caused added stress. Interconnections across supportive care need domains were identified, for example, the unmet physical need of cancer-related cognitive impairment caused both practical difficulties at work and negative impacts on mental health. Findings bring to light the compounding impacts of multiple unmet supportive care needs which may inform policy and practice change to improve supportive cancer care. This study highlights the importance for healthcare professionals to address the supportive care needs of patients across all stages of the cancer continuum, even once remission is achieved. The original article can be read hereĀ  (Olivia Bellas, 2022)
Scroll to Top