Understanding the role of follow-up care on information needs in long-term cancer survivors is an important and understudied area for research and intervention. We examined health information needs in 1157 cancer survivors 4–14 years post-diagnosis from a population-based survey: the Follow-up Care Use among Survivors (FOCUS) study. Endorsement of six information needs categories (tests/treatments, side effects/symptoms, health promotion, interpersonal/emotional, insurance, and sexual functioning/fertility), total number of needs, and information self-efficacy were regressed on socio-demographic and clinical variables, quality of recent follow-up care, receipt of treatment summary, type of main follow-up doctor, and perceived social support. In the multivariate models, survivors who were younger, African American, and those with lower support (P < 0.05) reported a significantly higher number of needs. Non-whites expressed significantly higher interpersonal/emotional and insurance information needs (P < 0.05). Survivors who did not receive but wanted a written treatment summary were more likely to indicate higher needs in side effects and symptoms (odds ratio: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.54–4.87) than those who had received a treatment summary. After adjustment, number of information needs was inversely related to information self-efficacy (P < 0.05). The pattern of needs reporting suggests persistent health disparities in access to important health information in long-term survivors. Findings also suggest the need for survivorship care planning to equip survivors with comprehensive health information and to consider tailored approaches for communicating this information to diverse survivor populations.
Citation Information: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2011;20(10 Suppl):A53.