Nurses & Allied Health Professionals

Non-Pharmacologic Supportive Care

Non-Pharmacologic Supportive Care Needs Specific to Lung Cancer

Contact:  Pippa Labuc, Nurses & AHP Committee Member

Supportive care is paramount in patients suffering from lung cancer. Because of the presentation in advanced stages, curative treatments are not available. To gain knowledge on non-pharmacological supportive care needs, patient reported outcomes are necessary. Maguire et al. (2013) performed a systematic review of supportive care needs of people living with lung cancer. These authors observed a wide range of needs, classified into nine domains: physical; daily living; emotional; spiritual; informational; practical; communication, cognitive and family related. Overall, domains relating to daily living, cognitive and practical needs received the least attention. Interestingly, supportive care needs were found related to level of education, self-esteem and the presence of caretakers.

A methodological study by Gralla, et al. (Journal of Thoracic Oncology) was conducted using an anonymous, cross-sectional, electronic web-based survey of 660 lung cancer patients. The survey asked patients to rank 20 quality of life issues with responses from "not important at all" to "very important" on a 5-pt scale. One of the conclusions was that symptoms are important to patients, but were not the most highly ranked issues of concern; instead, global issues (specifically, quality of life, maintaining independence, and performing normal activities), illustrating the effect of the symptoms on the patient, were ranked highest. Thus, patient reported outcomes focused on symptoms only are not fully responding to patient-expressed needs and values for a global context.

Category of Supportive Care Needs