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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 78-83

Perceived Levels of Supportive Care Needs of the Patients with Oral Cancer in a Metropolitan City in South India – A Cross-Sectional Questionnaire-Based Study

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Senior Lecturer, Mamata Dental College, Khammam, Telangana, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Senior Resident, Osmania Dental College, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Professor, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Professor and Head, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India
5 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Mamata Dental College, Khammam, Telangana, India
6 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Reader, Mamata Dental College, Khammam, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
L. Surya Chandra Varma
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Mamata Dental College, Khammam - 507 002, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-5932.201933

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Introduction: The patients with cancer experience a range of challenges that can be physical, mental, and psychological. Hence, proper supportive care needs should be provided to the patients with oral cancer during the postoperative period, which can have a great impact on them and their family caregivers. Aim: To assess the perceived levels of supportive care needs, namely psychological, interpersonal communication, patient support, health information, and physical needs, of the patients with oral cancer in a metropolitan city. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. One hundred and twenty patients were recruited from various cancer hospitals’ inpatient wards in the city of Hyderabad. A questionnaire was used to assess the patients’ needs, including the Karnofsky’s Performance Status Index and Cancer Needs Questionnaire Short Form. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Regression analysis was performed to find the predictive factors of various needs domains of the patients, and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: In general, the patients reported the highest level of supportive care needs in the “Psychological” domain among six needs domains, followed by interpersonal communication needs, patient support needs, health information needs, and physical needs. Factors significantly related to those supportive care needs across six domains were stage of the cancer when admitted, past treatment underwent, occupation, location of the cancer, duration of the treatment, and undergoing problems during the treatment. Conclusion: Needs that were considered to be more important by the patients were the psychological needs and interpersonal communication needs, especially in the period within which they are being treated and when undergoing tests to determine the stage of the cancer. Routine screening for psychological and physical distress should become a first step in the assessment of the psychosocial needs of people receiving inpatient treatment for the cancer.

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