Psychosocial needs and their determinants among patients with cancer

  • Kristine Israel Davao Regional Medical Center
  • Cinderela P Baruiz Davao Regional Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center
  • Suzette Solis Davao Regional Medical Center,


Background. Psychosocial needs of patients vary according to the nature of their illnesses.
Objective. To measure and identify determinants of the psychosocial needs of patients with cancer.
Design. Cross-sectional study.
Setting. Cancer Center of Davao Regional and Medical Center in Tagum City, Southern Philippines.
Participants. 116 patients with cancer.
Main outcome measures. Mean scores of a modified psychosocial needs inventory questionnaire; cross-sectional odds ratios of having unmet needs for selected patient characteristics.
Main results. There were 34 (29.31%) male and 82 (70.69%) female patients with cancer who participated in this study. The mean age of the participants was 50.28 ± 10.28 years. The psychosocial domain with the highest needs importance rating was the information domain (4.44/5 ± 0.39, versus 4.39/5 ± 0.32 for social, 4.32/5 ± 0.35 for emotional, and 4.08/5 ± 0.28 for practical domains). Odds ratios of having unmet information needs were significantly high among patients ≥50 years old (OR=3.08, 95% CI 1.43 to 6.66; p=0.0042), without employment (OR=3.37, 95% CI 5.25 to 34.03; p<0.0001), in late-stage family life (OR=34.21, 95% CI 4.44 to 263.64; p=0.0007), and with stage IV cancer (OR=3.18, 95% CI 1.43 to 7.05; p=0.0045).
Conclusion. In this study, the set of psychosocial needs in the information domain, which include access to information and management plans for the illness, was rated the most important. Being older, being unemployed, being in the late stages of the family life cycle, and having advanced stage cancer significantly increased the odds ratios of having unmet information needs.

May 24, 2016


information needs; practical needs; emotional needs; support needs