Treatment-related needs of statewide cancer survivors. Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION: Research on surviving cancer treatment is a national priority and there is a need to understand the experiences of survivors from predominantly rural areas. The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of treatment and post-treatment issues for cancer survivors living in South Dakota. Multidimensional aspects of cancer-related needs were explored, including: psychosocial, physical, spiritual, health promotion and access to care issues. METHODS: The design was a cross-sectional survey of cancer survivors who completed their course of treatment at five accredited cancer treatment centers in South Dakota two years prior to the study. The survey was derived from a synthesis of other published instruments, with added items that focused on issues of interest to rural dwellers. There were 524 of 1933 mailed surveys returned (27 percent response). RESULTS: Respondents identified needs for help coping with various emotions more frequently than needs related to finding support and taking care of practical issues post-treatment. Specifically, coping with uncertainty and finding hope were priority needs (33 percent and 36 percent, respectively), while accessing counseling services and financial planning were low priority (9 percent and 14 percent, respectively). There were limited numbers of participants who reported that access to care (time, expense, travel) interrupted their cancer treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Perceptions of treatment-related needs of cancer survivors living in South Dakota include broad health promotion, practical and, most commonly, emotional concerns. Health care providers who assess for and identify these needs require a keen awareness of community resources to support South Dakota cancer survivors.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ficek, A. L., Fahrenwald, N. L., & Vockrodt, M. L.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • December 2010