Prevalence, associated factors and source of support concerning supportive care needs among Japanese cancer survivors

Shino Umezawa, Daisuke Fujisawa, Maiko Fujimori, Asao Ogawa, Eisuke Matsushima, Mitsunori Miyashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background The current study aimed to describe cancer survivors' supportive care needs in Japan, to identify associated factors of unmet needs, and to describe the source of support that are preferred and actually used by cancer survivors. Methods Using a web-based questionnaire, we examined unmet supportive needs and its associated factors among 628 adult Japanese cancer survivors. The questionnaire comprised 16 items representing five domains (medical-psychological, financial, social-spiritual, sexual, and physical needs). Results Prevalence of unmet need ranged from 5 to 18%, depending on different domains. The prevalence was high in medical-psychological and financial domains and relatively low in physical and sexual domains. Poor performance status, psychiatric morbidity and low income status were associated with unmet needs of most domains. Most cancer survivors preferred and actually sought support from their family and friends. Financial needs were preferred to be provided by non-medical professionals. Call for peer support was intense, especially for medical-psychological, social-spiritual, and sexual needs; however, peer support was not well-provided. Conclusions This study illustrated characteristics of Japanese cancer survivors who are likely to have unmet needs. The study demonstrated need for expanded involvement of non-medical professionals and peer support, especially in the domains of medical-psychological, social-spiritual, financial and sexual needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1


  • cancer
  • cancer survivor
  • oncology
  • source of support
  • supportive care needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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