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Patterns of unmet supportive needs and relationship to quality of life in Chinese cancer patients

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Published online on


Objective This study aimed to (1) identify distinct patterns of unmet needs in Chinese cancer patients; (2) examine whether sociodemographic and medical characteristics distinguished these patterns; and (3) examine whether people with distinct patterns reported differential quality of life (QoL). Methods This cross‐sectional study recruited 301 cancer patients from 2 hospitals in China. The 34‐item Supportive Care Needs Survey Short‐Form was used to measure unmet needs across 5 domains: physical and daily living, psychological, patient care and support, health systems and information, and sexuality. Latent class analysis was performed to identify patterns of unmet needs across these domains. Results Four patterns of unmet needs were identified, differing in levels and nature of unmet needs. Participants in class 1 (47%) reported few unmet needs. Patients in class 2 (15%) had moderate levels of unmet needs, displaying similar levels across 5 domains. People in class 3 (25%) and class 4 (13%) reported similarly high levels on “psychological,” “health care system and information,” “physical and daily living,” and “patient care,” but differing in “sexuality,” with class 3 reporting low levels while class 4 high on “sexuality.” None of sociodemographic and medical characteristics distinguished these patterns significantly. Compared to other classes, people in class 1 reported highest levels of QoL. Conclusions This study demonstrates the existence of 4 patterns of unmet supportive needs in Chinese cancer patients. Patients with few unmet needs reported the best QoL.