Cancer survivors with self-reported late effects: their health status, care needs and service utilisation

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OBJECTIVE: Cancer survivors (CSs) are at risk of developing late effects (LEs) associated with the disease and its treatment. This paper compares the health status, care needs and use of health services by CSs with LEs and CSs without LEs.

METHODS: Cancer survivors (n = 613) were identified via the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and invited to participate in a postal survey that was administered by their general practitioner. The survey assessed self-reported LEs, health status, health service use and unmet care needs. A total of 289 (47%) CSs responded to the survey, and 93% of respondents completed a LEs scale.

RESULTS: Forty-one per cent (111/269) of CSs reported LEs. Survivors without LEs and survivors with LEs were comparable in terms of age and gender. The LEs group reported a significantly greater number of co-morbidities, lower physical health and mental health scores, greater overall health service use and more unmet needs. Unadjusted logistic regression analysis found that cancer site, time since diagnosis and treatment were significantly associated with reporting of LEs. CSs who received combination therapies compared with CSs who received single treatments were over two and a half times more likely to report LEs (OR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.32-5.25) after controlling for all other variables.

CONCLUSIONS: The CS population with LEs comprises a particularly vulnerable group of survivors who have multiple health care problems and needs and who require tailored care plans that take account of LEs and their impact on health-related quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2428-35
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Early online date16 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Health Resources
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Neoplasms
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life
  • Questionnaires
  • Registries
  • Self Report
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors


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