Unmet needs of 1210 Chinese breast cancer survivors and associated factors: a multicentre cross-sectional study

Xiaofan Bu, Cai Jin, Rongrong Fan, Andy S.K. Cheng, Peter H.F. Ng, Yimin Xia, Xiangyu Liu (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Background: Breast cancer survivors (BCSs) often have potential unmet needs. Identification of the specific needs of BCSs is very significant for medical service provision. This study aimed to (1) investigate the unmet needs and quality of life (QoL) of BCSs in China, (2) explore the diverse factors associated with their unmet needs, and (3) assess the association between their unmet needs and QoL. Methods: A multicentre, cross-sectional survey was administered to 1210 Chinese BCSs. The Cancer Survivor Profile-Breast Cancer and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast scale were administered to survivors who gave informed consent to participate. Data were analysed using t-test, ANOVA, multiple regression analysis, and Pearson correlations. Results: The 1192 participants completed questionnaires (response rate 98.51%). Our study reveals that the most prevalent unmet needs were in the ‘symptom burden domain’. The unmet needs of BCSs depend on eleven factors; age, time since diagnosis, education level, occupation, payment, family income status, stage of cancer, treatment, family history of cancer, pain, and physical activities. To ensure the provision of high-quality survivorship care and a high satisfaction level, more attention should be paid to actively identifying and addressing the unmet needs of BCSs. The problem areas identified in the Cancer Survivor Profile for breast cancer were negatively associated with all subscales of QoL except the health behaviour domain, with the correlation coefficient ranging from − 0.815 to − 0.011. Conclusion: Chinese BCSs exhibit a high demand for unmet needs in this study, and the most prevalent unmet needs were in the ‘symptom burden domain’. There was a significant association between patients’ unmet needs (as defined in the Cancer Survivor Profile for breast cancer) and QoL. Future research should focus on enhancements to survivorship or follow-up care to address unmet needs and further improve QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2022


  • Breast cancer survivors
  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Quality of life
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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