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Supportive care needs of women with breast cancer in rural Scotland

Hubbard, Gill; Venning, Christine; Walker, Alison; Scanlon, Karen; Kyle, Richard G


Gill Hubbard

Christine Venning

Alison Walker

Karen Scanlon

Richard G Kyle



The aim of this study was to identify the supportive care needs and unmet needs of women with breast cancer (BC) in rural Scotland.


In 2013, a survey of supportive care needs of rural women with BC was conducted using the short-form Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34). Semi-structured interviews were subsequently conducted with a purpose sample of questionnaire respondents.


Forty-four women with BC completed the survey and ten were interviewed. Over half of participants reported at least one moderate to high unmet need (56.8 %, n = 25), a tenth reported low needs (11.4 %, n = 5), and around a third reported no unmet needs for all 34 items (31.8 %, n = 14). The most prevalent moderate to high needs were ‘being informed about cancer in remission’ (31.8 %, n = 14), ‘fears about the cancer spreading’ (27.3 %, n = 12), ‘being adequately informed about the benefits and side-effects of treatment’ and ‘concerns about the worries of those close to you’ (both 25.0 %, n = 11). Interviews highlighted the following unmet needs: information about treatment and side effects, overview of care, fear of recurrence, impact on family and distance from support.


Rural women with BC report similar unmet needs to their urban counterparts. Fear of recurrence is a key unmet need that should be addressed for all women with BC. However, they also report unique unmet needs because of rural location. Thus, it is critical that cancer services address the additional unmet needs of rural women with BC and, in particular, needs relating to distance from services.


Hubbard, G., Venning, C., Walker, A., Scanlon, K., & Kyle, R. G. (2015). Supportive care needs of women with breast cancer in rural Scotland. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(6), 1523-1532.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 14, 2014
Publication Date 2015-06
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2015
Print ISSN 0941-4355
Electronic ISSN 1433-7339
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 6
Pages 1523-1532
Keywords Rural; Breast cancer; Supportive care needs; Unmet needs;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jan 19, 2015


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