The Role of Age in Change in Unmet Supportive Care Needs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients During Transition From Hospital to Home

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Age might affect the change in care needs in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after treatment during their transition process from hospital to home. However, there have been no studies that focus on this.


The aim of this study is to examine changes in unmet supportive care needs in young (<65 years old) and elderly (≥65 years old) groups of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma from before discharge to 2 months after discharge.


A longitudinal prospective study design was used with recruited participants at a teaching hospital in Taiwan. Data were collected 3 times: within 3 days before discharge and at 1 and 2 months after discharge. A set of questionnaires was used to assess participants’ levels of supportive care needs, symptom distress, anxiety, and depression.


A total of 104 patients completed the data collection process. Supportive care needs decreased monthly after discharge, with health system and information being the domain with the highest level of unmet needs in the 2 groups. The young group had a higher level of overall unmet needs before discharge, but they had a lower level of overall needs compared with the elderly group after 2 months of discharge.


Age could be a significant potential factor to affect change in unmet needs during transition.

Implications for Practice:

Comprehensive assessment in care needs especially in the health system and information and physical and daily living domains before discharge is recommended to design personalized education programs before discharge.

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