The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference of patients' perceived needs after cancer diagnosis. Differences in quality of life and psychological distress were also examined.Methods
Ambulatory breast cancer patients who were randomly selected participated in this study. The patients were asked to complete the Short-form Supportive Care Needs Survey, which covers five domains of need (health system and information, psychological, physical, care and support and sexuality needs), the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C 30 and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Results
A total of 408 patients were enrolled and distributed into four groups [Group 1 (N = 115)], within 1 year of diagnosis; Group 2 [N = 105], 1–3 years since diagnosis; Group 3 [N = 94], >3 years since diagnosis; and Group 4 [N = 94], recurrence). Significant differences were observed in total, psychological, physical and daily living, and patient care and support needs, as well as in quality of life, whereas there were no significant differences in health system and information, sexuality needs and psychological distress. In general, Groups 1 and 4 had a higher need level and lower quality of life.Conclusions
Patients' perceived needs and quality of life may vary according to time since cancer diagnosis and the presence of cancer recurrence. The findings suggest that different care for supporting breast cancer survivors after diagnosis should be recommended, and that the time since diagnosis and/or the presence of recurrence may be relevant indicators for providing optimal and individualized care.