Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2651–2659 | Cite as

Perceived information needs and social support of Chinese-Australian breast cancer survivors

  • C. Kwok
  • K. White
Original Article



Both informational and social support are vital components in achieving a high quality of life as a cancer survivor. The study aims to explore the perceptions of information needs and social support among Chinese-Australian breast cancer survivors and how these resources impacted their cancer experience.


Three focus groups were conducted with 23 Chinese-Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in their native language (Mandarin and Cantonese). Each interview was translated and transcribed. Content analysis was used to uncover the major themes.


Themes for information needs were identified as (1) using linguistically appropriate information, (2) the need for culturally sensitive information for the management of expected side effect and promotion of recovery and (3) the need for information on signs and symptoms of recurrence. Families were described as a primary source of multifaceted social support, although it was challenging to obtain. Support groups were also an important support source, but health care professionals were not identified as a source of support.


Our study has provided practical insight into the information needs and social support of Chinese women with breast cancer. These findings can be used to inform the development of linguistically and culturally tailored support and survivorship interventions for this vulnerable population.

Keywords Information needs Social support Chinese-Australian breast cancer survivors 



This research was funded by 06/ECF/1-14 from the Cancer Institute NSW. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the help received from all study participants and would like to express their appreciation for the recruitment assistance given by the Chinese cancer support group.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest related to this research and there is no financial relationship with the organisation that sponsored the research. The authors have full control of all primary data and allow the journal to review the data if requested.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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