Due to fewer cancer services in rural locations, rural survivors may have unique unmet needs compared to urban survivors. This study compared among rural and urban haematological cancer survivors the most common “high/very high” unmet supportive care needs and the unmet need scores for five domains (information, financial concerns, access and continuity of care, relationships and emotional health). Survivors’ socio-demographics, rurality, cancer history and psychological factors associated with each unmet need domain were also explored. A total of 1511 haematological cancer survivors were recruited from five Australian state cancer registries and 1417 (1145 urban, 272 rural) allowed extraction of their residential postcode from registry records. A questionnaire that contained the Survivor Unmet Needs Survey was mailed to survivors. Dealing with feeling tired was the most common “high/very high” unmet need for rural (15.2%) and urban (15.5%) survivors. The emotional health domain had the highest mean unmet need score for rural and urban survivors. Rurality was associated with a decreased unmet emotional health domain score whereas travelling for more than 1 h to treatment was associated with increased unmet financial concerns and unmet access and continuity of care. Depression, anxiety and stress were associated with increased unmet need scores for all five domains. Unmet need domain scores generally did not differ by rurality. Travelling for more than 1 h to treatment was associated with increased unmet need scores on two domains. Telemedicine and increased financial assistance with travel and accommodation may help those travelling long distances for treatment.
Annals of Hematology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 10, 2018
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