|Publisher||Springer Science and Business Media LLC|
To investigate unmet needs of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) at the end of treatment and whether unmet needs improve over time. Identify predictors of need following treatment and whether unmet need is associated with worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
As part of the UK ColoREctal Wellbeing (CREW) cohort study, patients treated for CRC completed the Supportive Care Needs Survey Short Form-34 (SCNS SF-34) 15 and 24 months following surgery, along with questionnaires measuring HRQoL, wellbeing, life events, social support, and confidence to manage their cancer before surgery, 3, 9, 15, and 24 months post-surgery.
The SCNS SF-34 was completed by 526 patients at 15 months and 510 patients at 24 months. About one-quarter of patients had at least one moderate or severe unmet need at both time points. Psychological and physical unmet needs were the most common and did not improve over time. Over 60% of patients who reported 5 or more moderate or severe unmet needs at 15 months experienced the same level of unmet need at 24 months. HRQoL at the beginning of treatment predicted unmet needs at the end of treatment. Unmet needs, specifically physical, psychological, and health system and information needs, were associated with poorer health and HRQoL at the end of treatment.
Unmet needs persist over time and are associated with HRQoL. Evaluation of HRQoL at the start of treatment would help inform the identification of vulnerable patients. Assessment and care planning in response to unmet needs should be integrated into person-centred care.
Early identification of CRC patients at risk of unmet needs will help infrom personalised survivorship care plans. The implementation of personalised and tailored services are likely to confer HRQoL gains.
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