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04-05-2024 | Head and Neck

The psychosocial needs of head and neck cancer patients: a multicenter study

Authors: Andrea Ferri, Giovanni Lilloni, Gabriele Molteni, Alberto Grammatica, Guglielmo Ronzani, Francesca Gennarini, Claudia Montenegro, Gerardo Borriello, Giovanni Dell’Aversana Orabona, Stefania Sivero

Published in: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

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Abstract

Introduction

Cancer is among the most frequent pathologies and a major cause of death and disability. Scientific research and surgeons focus mainly on aspects relating to etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment, but often neglect the psychological needs of patients and related social factors. The aim of this study is to investigate the psychological and social needs of patients affected by head and neck cancer to improve patient management and achieve more empathetic care.

Materials and methods

The Need Evaluation Questionnaire (NEQ) was administered to adult patients who had to undergo surgery in 4 Italian tertiary head and neck cancer centers the day before the operation.

Results

188 patients affected by stage I-IV head and neck tumors were enrolled. The main needs expressed by patients fall under the categories of either “information and dialogue”, (64.3% more information about future conditions, 50% more information about treatments, 45% more information about the diagnosis, 44% more reassurance) or “spiritual support” (50% need to talk to someone who had the same experience as them).

Conclusions

Common methods of explaining diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis have proven unsatisfactory to patients and most also require more psychosocial support. This highlights the need to implement interventions and activities that are increasingly geared toward supporting the psychological and relational aspects of the care journey.
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Metadata
Title
The psychosocial needs of head and neck cancer patients: a multicenter study
Authors
Andrea Ferri
Giovanni Lilloni
Gabriele Molteni
Alberto Grammatica
Guglielmo Ronzani
Francesca Gennarini
Claudia Montenegro
Gerardo Borriello
Giovanni Dell’Aversana Orabona
Stefania Sivero
Publication date
04-05-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Print ISSN: 0937-4477
Electronic ISSN: 1434-4726
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-024-08680-3