Purpose/Objectives: To investigate changes in unmet supportive care needs and factors affecting those needs in Taiwanese women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
Design: Prospective longitudinal survey.
Setting: Two general surgery outpatient departments at a large medical center in northern Taiwan.
Sample: 124 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
Methods: Needs were assessed with the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form at diagnosis (T1) and one month (T2), two months (T3), and three months (T4) after diagnosis.
Main Research Variables: Supportive care needs.
Findings: Women had moderate-to-high levels of unmet needs, with the highest being in the health system and information domain at each time point. Levels in the domains of psychological, health system and information, and sexuality needs were higher (p < 0.001) at T1 than at T2, T3, and T4. However, levels of unmet physical and daily living needs increased significantly over time (p < 0.001). Unmet supportive care needs were significantly predicted by younger age and higher levels of education, symptom distress, trait anxiety, state anxiety, and time since diagnosis.
Conclusions: Supportive care needs changed significantly over time and were predicted by personal characteristics, as well as physical and emotional factors.
Implications for Nursing: Oncology nurses should assess the needs of patients with breast cancer and provide them with individualized, culturally sensitive informational, social, and emotional support from breast cancer diagnosis through the first four months of treatment.