Comparison of problems and unmet needs of patients with advanced cancer in a European country and an asian country
SourcePain Practice, 15, 5, (2015), pp. 433-40
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced cancer experience problems and unmet needs. However, we assume that patients with advanced cancer will have more problems and unmet needs in a country with a lower economic status than in an economically stronger country. We studied whether patients with advanced cancer in Indonesia have more problems and unmet needs than a similar group of patients in the Netherlands. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional survey. We compared the data for 180 Indonesian and 94 Dutch patients relating to 24 items of the Problems and Needs in Palliative Care-short version questionnaire. We performed descriptive and chi(2) analysis with Bonferroni correction. RESULTS: The prevalence of most physical problems, including pain, was similar in the 2 groups. In Indonesia, financial problems were the most common: 70 to 80% vs. 30 to 42% in the Netherlands. In Indonesia, 25 to 50% of the patients reported psychological and autonomy problems versus 55 to 86% in the Netherlands. The Indonesian group had many more unmet needs for each problem (> 54%) than the Dutch group (< 35%). CONCLUSION: Apparently, economic and cultural differences hardly influence physical problems. Nonetheless, fewer Indonesian patients reported psychological and autonomy problems than Dutch patients. This difference contradicts our hypothesis. However, we found more unmet needs for professional attention in Indonesia than in the Netherlands, which is compatible with our hypothesis. These simple comparative data provide interesting insights into problems and unmet needs and give rise to our new hypothesis about cultural influences. This hypothesis should be studied in more depth.
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- Faculty of Medical Sciences 
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