Patients who undergo radiotherapy for pelvic cancers want to be better informed about side effects before treatment, research has revealed.
Half of patients who took part in a UK survey reported unmet information needs on a range of issues, including rehabilitation, ways to access supportive services and how to cope with the treatment's sexual consequences.
More than two thirds of the 58 patients said they were given written information, mostly by a nurse, and this was well received. None of the respondents wanted less information.
The authors of the study, published in Cancer Nursing Practice, said individualised assessment of patients' needs was vital before, during and immediately after treatment, and again during rehabilitation.
They concluded that healthcare professionals should provide adequate information about the next stages of care without overwhelming them.
In addition, nurses should establish early in the care pathway how each patient wants information to be delivered to them and when.
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Cancer Nursing Practice DOI: 10.7748/cnp2014.02.13.1.16.e1033