The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of unmet physical and psychological supportive care needs and associated factors among adult patients with cancer in Southern Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 321 patients with cancer from 20 June 2022 to 5 August 2022 at Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital oncology centre. Simple random sampling technique was used to recruit participants. Data were entered into Epi-Data V.4.6 and were exported to SPSS V.26 for analysis. Logistic regression model was used to describe the association between dependent and independent variables.
The mean age of the study participants was 45±14.27. The prevalence of unmet physical and psychological supportive care needs was 47.3% and 71.1%, respectively. Rural residence ((adjusted OR, AOR 2.73; 95% CI (1.27 to 5.83)) and late-stage cancer ((AOR 2.95; 95% CI 1.02 to 8.52) were factors significantly associated with unmet physical supportive care need. Coexisting illness was associated with both unmet physical and psychological supportive care needs (AOR 2.73; 95% CI 1.27 to 5.83) and (AOR 2.71; 95% CI 1.16 to 6.33), respectively.
Nearly half of the study participants had an unmet physical supportive care need while greater than two-thirds had unmet psychological supportive care need. Residence and late-stage cancer were factors significantly associated with physical unmet supportive care need while coexisting illness was associated with both unmet physical and psychological supportive care needs. Hence, supportive care for patients with cancer should be given an emphasis and incorporated into the cancer treatment protocol.