Symptoms, psychological distress, and supportive care needs in lung cancer patients

Yu Chien Liao, Wei Yu Liao, Shiow Ching Shun, Chong Jen Yu, Pan Chyr Yang, Yeur Hur Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the level of symptoms, psychological distress, and supportive care needs and factors related to five unmet need domains in lung cancer patients. Methods A cross-sectional study of 152 lung cancer patients at a medical center in Taiwan assessed their symptoms, psychological distress, and unmet supportive needs in five major care domains. Logistic regression was applied to examine the related factors of unmet supportive care needs. Results In general, patients had mild-to-moderate levels of symptoms and high prevalence of psychological distress. Regardless of their treatment status, they reported high levels of supportive care needs. The top three need domains were: (1) health system and information, (2) psychological, and (3) patient care and support. Levels of symptoms, anxiety, and depression were the most significant factors in unmet supportive care needs. Conclusion The effect of symptoms and psychological distress on unmet supportive care needs is substantial. Therefore, a systematic assessment of patients' distress and care needs is important for clinical lung cancer care. Further intervention consisting of symptom management, continuing counseling, and preparation for transition from active treatment to the follow-up stages are essential in improving quality of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1751
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Lung cancer
  • Need
  • Psychological distress
  • Symptom


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