Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2016 Jun;19(2):163-169. 10.14475/kjhpc.2016.19.2.163.

Unmet Medical Service Needs in Family Caregivers of Terminal Cancer Patients

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hw97med@hanmail.net, spfe0211@hanmail.net


The unmet medical service needs of caregivers critically influence their caring for terminal cancer patients, but not much research has been done in this regard. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate the association between caregivers' characteristics and their unmet medical service needs.
The survey was conducted with 109 family caregivers of terminal cancer patients admitted to four hospice units. The data were collected from March 2014 through December 2014 using a structured questionnaire. The unmet medical service needs were measured using 14 items which were adopted and modified by authors.
Seven areas of unmet medical service needs were shown to be significant. A well-educated group showed stronger needs for counsel about cancer screening and complementary-alternative medicine and health supplement food. A never-smoked group was identified with less need for sexual dysfunction counsel. Counsel about family and personal relations was more necessary for current drinkers and current workers, and less necessary for the married. Insurance counsel was more needed for a no-religion group. Occupation counsel was less necessary for healthy patients. Financial support was less necessary for the married group.
Based on the results, it is highly recommended to further investigate the unmet medical service needs of family caregivers for terminal cancer patients and causes of the unmet needs.


Hospices; Caregivers; Health services needs and demand
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