Exploring the Unmet Supportive Care Needs of Breast Cancer Survivors Experiencing Psychological Distress: Qualitative Study

ŞENGÜN İNAN F., Yedigün T., Er İ.

Seminars in Oncology Nursing, vol.39, no.4, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.soncn.2023.151449
  • Journal Name: Seminars in Oncology Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Breast cancer survivors, Psychological distress, Supportive care, Unmet needs
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: This study aimed to explore the unmet supportive care needs of breast cancer survivors who experience psychological distress. Data Sources: A qualitative study design with inductive content analysis was used. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 Turkish breast cancer survivors who experienced psychological distress. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research checklist was used to report the study. Conclusion: Three key themes emerged from data analysis: sources of psychological distress, unmet supportive care needs, and barriers to support. The survivors who experienced psychological distress defined a variety of unmet supportive care needs, in the areas of information support, psychological/emotional support, social support, and individualized health care support. They also described personal and health professional−related factors as barriers. Implications for Nursing Practice: Nurses should assess psychosocial well-being and supportive care needs of breast cancer survivors. Survivors should be supported to discuss their experiences of symptoms in the early survival phase, and they should be referred to an appropriate supportive care resource. A multidisciplinary survivorship services model is needed to offer posttreatment psychological support routinely in Turkey. Early, effective psychological care integrated into follow-up services for survivors can be protective against psychological morbidity.