Quality of life in head and neck cancer survivors at 1 year after treatment: the mediating role of unmet supportive care needs

Winnie K.W. So, K. C. Choi, Joanne M.T. Chen, Carmen W.H. Chan, S. Y. Chair, Wai Man Olivia Fung, Rayman W.M. Wan, Suzanne S.S. Mak, W. M. Ling, W. T. Ng, Bernice W.L. Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Results: The final path model showed that optimism, educational level, any coexisting disease, number of somatic symptoms, household income, eating ability, support from others, whether the cancer is under control or not and travelling time from home to hospital have direct or indirect effects, or both, on the QoL of HNC survivors, by way of unmet SCNs in the psychological, physical and/or health system information domains, which account for 64 % of the variance in the total FACT-H&N score.Conclusions: Our study demonstrated the mediating effects of SCNs in the association between HNC survivors and their QoL. Early needs assessment may help healthcare professionals to identify the actual needs of these survivors, and providing the information that HNC survivors want is a significant factor in meeting their psychological needs and thereby improving their overall QoL.Purpose: The aim of the study was to test a hypothesised model that supportive care needs (SCNs) have a mediating effect on the relationship between characteristics of (Chinese) head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors and their quality of life (QoL).Methods: A total of 285 Chinese HNC survivors who had finished cancer treatment 1 year earlier completed a self-reported survey covering demographic and clinical characteristics, the Chinese version of the Short-Form Supportive Care Needs Questionnaire (SCNS-SF34-C), the supplementary module of access to healthcare and ancillary support services and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer (FACT-H&N).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2917-2926
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Head and neck cancer survivors
  • Path analysis
  • Quality of life
  • Supportive care needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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