Needs of Ambulatory Patients With Cancer Who Visited Outpatient Units in Japanese Hospitals

Michiyo Mizuno

Hiromi Arita

Miho Kakuta

ONF 2005, 32(3), E63-E69. DOI: 10.1188/05.ONF.E63-E69

Purpose/Objectives: To document the domains and properties of the self-reported needs of ambulatory patients with cancer.

Design: Descriptive.

Setting: Outpatient units in three general hospitals in Japan.

Sample: 139 ambulatory patients with cancer.

Methods: The data were collected using questionnaires. Five theoretical groups, which were composed of 30 items, were extracted empirically as domains. Alpha coefficients for each domain ranged from 0.70-0.89. Relationships between each domain and other variables and among the domains themselves were examined.

Main Research Variables: Expressed needs of ambulatory patients with cancer, their backgrounds, medical and treatment characteristics, and physical functioning.

Findings: All domains for patient needs, except for healthcare needs, were negatively correlated with the level of their physical function. Emotional, physical, and functional needs were positively correlated with the frequency of visiting an outpatient unit. Compared with other needs, adaptation needs were greater for patients who were employed or within three months of discharge. Among patients with one of three cancer sites (i.e., breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers), the needs for individualized care were the lowest for patients with colorectal cancer and highest for patients with breast cancer.

Conclusions: From the needs that ambulatory patients with cancer expressed, five domains were derived. Those domains had relationships with other variables.

Implications for Nursing: The findings shed light on a segment of ambulatory cancer nursing and may be useful when developing and testing programs needed in the future.

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