Could Peer Support Programs Be a Good Resource for Managing the Unmet Needs of Cancer Patients?

Hwa Yeon Park, Mi Jin Kim, Ju Young Kim, Sarah Kim, Ji Young Choi, Jeong Hyun Kim, Hee Yeong Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The number of cancer patients has been rapidly increasing, and while there have been wide variations, cancer survival rates also improved globally. Despite the improved survival rates, supportive care needs of cancer patients have been unmet in various domains. The current study aimed to investigate unmet needs that had potential to be managed by peer supports according to cancer trajectories. We used the comprehensive needs assessment tool in cancer (CNAT) and a modified CNAT to evaluate the unmet needs and peer support needs of cancer patients at the tertiary hospital of South Korea. Of the 402 participants, 335 (83.3%) needed peer support. For patients who had been diagnosed with cancer for more than 5 years, the highest proportion of peer support needs to unmet supportive care was reported in information domain (92.9%). Patients with advanced cancer reported peer support needs in the social/religious/spiritual (84.4%) and practical domains (81.1%). Most of stomach cancer patients needed peer supports to receive information (96.6%). The need for peer supports in the information domain was reported highest according to longer survival period and also according to advanced cancer stages. The proportion of peer support needs in unmet supportive care varied by cancer type. Further interventional studies are needed to investigate satisfaction with peer support in specific domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Cancer survivorships
  • Mentorship
  • Peer support needs
  • Peer support programs
  • Unmet needs

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