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Grouping cancer patients by psychosocial needs.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Journal number2
Volume22
Number of pages20
Pages90-109
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article describes a study in which a systematic classification of cancer patients was produced on the basis of their needs. A series of 380 cancer patients from four hospitals in the North West of England responded to a self-completion questionnaire that included a 48-item inventory of psychosocial needs covering seven needs domains (information, health professionals, emotional and spiritual, identity, practical, support, and child care). Latent class analysis was used to identify differing patterns of psychosocial need. Four patterns of need were identified. The groups differed in both quantity and quality of patients' expressed needs. Group A had a high level of expressed needs “across the board,” whereas Group D had a low level of expressed needs “across the board.” Group B had high levels of expressed needs in all except the emotional, spiritual, identity, and practical domains, and Group C had low levels of expressed needs in all but the information and health professionals domains. Because the four groups differed by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, there is scope for developing risk scores to predict these patterns of psychosocial needs in patients with cancer. The dangers and limitations of this approach are discussed.