The diagnosis and subsequent treatment of prostate cancer is followed by a
range of significant disease specific and iatrogenic sequelae. However, the
supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer are not well described i
n the literature. The present study assesses the supportive care needs of m
en with prostate cancer who are members of prostate cancer self-help groups
in Queensland, Australia. In all, 206 men aged between 48 and 85 years (me
an = 68) completed the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) (62% response).
The SCNS is a validated measure assessing perceived need in the domains of
psychological needs, health system and information needs, physical and dail
y living needs, patient care and support, and sexuality. Items assessing ne
ed for access to services and resources were also included.
One third of the sample reported a moderate to high need for help for multi
ple items in the sexuality, psychological and health system and information
domains. Younger men reported greater need in the sexuality domain; living
in major urban centres was predictive of greater psychological need; being
closer to the time of diagnosis was related to greater need for help in th
e physical and daily living domain; having prostate cancer that is not in r
emission, having received radiation therapy, and lower levels of education
were predictive of greater need for help in patient care and support. Of th
e total sample, 55% of men had used alternative cancer treatments in the pa
st 12 months, with younger and more educated men more likely to use alterna
tive therapies. Interventions in sexuality, psychological concerns and info
rmational support are priorities for men with prostate cancer. Copyright (C
) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.