Assessing the impact of diagnosis and the related supportive care needs in patients with cutaneous melanoma

Zoe Stamataki, L. Brunton, P. Lorigan, A. C. Green, J. Newton-Bishop, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Despite the large number of people affected by melanoma, little is known about the specific needs of melanoma patients. Understanding the effects of melanoma diagnosis and the specific supportive care needs of this group of patients is a necessary step towards provision of effective psychosocial care.Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 15 patients with malignant melanoma of the skin. The sample size, which was purposive, included 8 females and 7 males from 27 to 78 years old. Data were analysed using the NVIVO 8 software and principles of thematic analysis.Results: Four major areas were identified: (a) Emotional effects due to body image, fear of the sun and uncertainty for the future; (b) Effects on Relationships, with some patients in need of more support than others from family and work colleagues; (c) Functional effects due to on-going symptoms such as pain and lymphedema; and (d) Health System and Information Needs, around the clarity, quality and timing of the information received from the health care professionals.Conclusions: The findings suggest that we often fail to pick up melanoma patients’ health and psychosocial needs and fail to refer them appropriately, rather than the services not being available. Interventions should focus on patient and carer education about melanoma and sun protection, psychosocial support and effective information giving. Patient-reported outcome measures should routinely be collected to identify issues of specific concerns to the patients and directing them to the right services based on their individual needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-789
Number of pages11
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Diagnosis impact
  • Interviews
  • Melanoma
  • Patient experience
  • Qualitative research
  • Thematic analysis
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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