Comparison of perceptions of unmet supportive care needs between cancer patients and their oncologists

Satish Chandrasekhar Nair, Waleed A. Hassen, Jayadevan Sreedharan, Khaled Qawasmeh, Halah Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: The prevalence of cancer in the Middle East is increasing and predicted to nearly double by 2030. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), cancer ranks as the third leading cause of death. Yet, there are limited data describing the needs of cancer patients in the region. The purpose of this study is to compare cancer patients’ reports of unmet supportive care needs with the perceptions of their oncologists. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of cancer patients and their oncologists, using an Arabic translation of the short form of the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS-SF34), was conducted at a major oncology center in the UAE between December 2014 and March 2017. Descriptive statistics and McNemar test were calculated to determine differences in unmet need responses between oncologists and patients. Results: Nine physicians (100%) and 210 of 268 (78.3%) patients completed the questionnaire. Oncologists accurately assessed the level of unmet physical needs of their patients, but significantly underestimated unmet psychological supportive care needs of the patients. Male patients expressed significantly lower (p < 0.05) physical and psychological unmet needs, compared to female patients. Conclusion: Our findings reveal a general concordance between physician and patient perspectives of unmet supportive care needs. This is reassuring as physician perceptions impact the care patients receive. We present multifaceted supportive care strategies for oncology patients in the region.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)4229-4235
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Cancer supportive care needs
  • Middle East
  • Oncology
  • Physician perceptions


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