Unmet needs linked with lower quality of life in people with lung cancer

Research published in the European Journal of Cancer Care suggests that unmet physical and psychological needs of patients with lung cancer have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life and affect their ability to continue with everyday activities.

Researchers analyzed results from six studies involving 562 patients. Nearly two thirds of the patients had been diagnosed with advanced cancer (stage III or IV), and most had been diagnosed for less than two years. There was a negative association between quality of life and unmet needs using two different measures. In two studies, the relationship was limited to physical and/or psychological needs.

Lack of energy and tiredness were common unmet needs in the physical domain, and uncertainty about the future, fears, and worry were among the most common in the psychological domain.

“This research underscores the high burden of unmet needs for individuals with lung cancer, often resulting from late diagnosis and associated lack of curative treatment,” said corresponding author Simon Dunne, Ph.D., of Dublin City University, in Ireland. “There is a need for early intervention and tailoring of pre-existing services to address unmet supportive care needs in this cancer group.”