Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 494–500 | Cite as

Understanding the needs of lung cancer patients during the pre-diagnosis phase

  • David WiljerEmail author
  • Tara Walton
  • Julie Gilbert
  • Amy Boucher
  • Peter M Ellis
  • Susan Schiff
  • Scott M Sellick
  • Marko Simunovic
  • Andrea Bezjak
  • Sara Urowitz


Patients with lung cancer have numerous and varying needs spanning across the cancer trajectory; however, only limited research has focused specifically on the pre-diagnosis phase. A multicentre cross-sectional survey was conducted to explore the experience of lung cancer patients during the pre-diagnosis phase. High levels of anxiety were reported by many participants (45.6 %). Informational (32.1 %), and emotional (24.1 %) needs were reported as most important; the majority (89.0 %) reported these needs were met. Most participants sought information throughout, with many (38.6 %) rating their oncology health care providers to be the best source of information. The majority (70.0 %) reported that they were not directed to any resources to help address their anxiety. During pre-diagnosis, informational and emotional needs appear most important, and for the majority, these were reportedly met. Although many experienced high levels of anxiety, few were directed to resources to address it.


Lung cancer Patient needs Pre-diagnosis Referral 



This research was supported by funding from Cancer Care Ontario. The authors gratefully acknowledge the participation of the patients and the contribution of the oncologists and research staff involved in this study at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, the Thunder Bay Regional Cancer Care and the Princess Margaret Hospital. The opinions, results and conclusions reported in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Cancer Care Ontario.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wiljer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 18
    Email author
  • Tara Walton
    • 4
  • Julie Gilbert
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Amy Boucher
    • 8
  • Peter M Ellis
    • 9
    • 10
  • Susan Schiff
    • 11
  • Scott M Sellick
    • 12
  • Marko Simunovic
    • 13
    • 14
  • Andrea Bezjak
    • 15
  • Sara Urowitz
    • 16
    • 17
  1. 1.Knowledge Management and Innovation, Oncology Education and Radiation Medicine ProgramPrincess Margaret Hospital/University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  2. 2.ELLICSR: Health, Wellness and Cancer Survivorship CenterPrincess Margaret Hospital/University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Educational Informatics, Oncology Education ProgramPrincess Margaret Hospital/University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Cancer Care OntarioTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Department of Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  8. 8.Clinical Trials, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences CentreThunder BayCanada
  9. 9.Department of OncologyMcMaster University, Juravinski Cancer CentreHamiltonCanada
  10. 10.Department of Clinical Epidemiology & BiostatisticsMcMaster University, Juravinski Cancer CentreHamiltonCanada
  11. 11.Supportive Cancer Care Research UnitJuravinski Cancer CentreHamiltonCanada
  12. 12.Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences CentreThunder BayCanada
  13. 13.Surgical OncologyJuravinski Cancer CenterHamiltonCanada
  14. 14.Department of SurgeryMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  15. 15.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  16. 16.Educational Informatics and ELLICSR: Health, Wellness and Cancer Survivorship CenterPrincess Margaret Hospital/University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  17. 17.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  18. 18.ELLICSR—Survivorship Research CentreToronto General HospitalTorontoCanada

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