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GUEST EDITORIAL
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 127-128

Special issue on information need in cancer care and prevention


The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China

Date of Submission14-Jul-2015
Date of Acceptance16-Jul-2015
Date of Web Publication28-Aug-2015

Correspondence Address:
Winnie K. W. So
The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.163314

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How to cite this article:
Choi KC, So WK. Special issue on information need in cancer care and prevention. Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs 2015;2:127-8

How to cite this URL:
Choi KC, So WK. Special issue on information need in cancer care and prevention. Asia Pac J Oncol Nurs [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Aug 23];2:127-8. Available from: http://www.apjon.org/text.asp?2015/2/3/127/163314

Appropriate and adequate information is crucial for patients to understand their condition and to make decisions regarding treatment options, particularly in the case of cancer patients. The literature indicates that there are unmet information needs along the cancer care continuum, from prevention to posttreatment. [1],[2],[3] Although information is easily accessible in the present era, understanding and meeting individual cancer patients' information needs remains a challenging task for oncology nurses, most of whom are frontline professionals responsible for education and direct caring of cancer patients. Research into the roles of these nurses in the whole span of cancer care from prevention to long-term survival will not only advance our knowledge but also provide insights into how the quality of practical nursing care may be improved. This special issue covers topics that range from oncology nurses' role in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases to their perspectives on long-term care for cancer survivors, in addition to the information needs of cancer patients and their significant others or caregivers.

The study by Johnson et al. explores the oncology nursing role and identifies barriers to the implementation of evidence-based strategies in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. Their results show that oncology nurses are very willing to make contributions in this area, where a heavy workload, inadequate physical environment and lack of culturally appropriate resources are the main barriers. The paper by Miura et al. presents an exploratory study concerning oncology nurses' perceptions of long-term cancer survivorship care. Their findings indicate that nurses may be less confident in patient education or nursing interventions in the case of long-term survival. The article by Lopez et al. examines the severity of treatment-related symptoms and their occurrence in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Their results provide insights into planning interventions or education to meet patients' individual needs in symptom management, particularly for those with symptom clustering.

Suffering from cancer can have a devastating impact not only on patients' own daily lives but also on their significant others. Research into cancer patients and their significant others has recently been gaining increased attention. The study by Yi examines the extent of unmet needs and quality of life among the family caregivers of cancer patients, while the article by Levesque et al. assesses the adequacy of and satisfaction with the medical information received by prostate cancer patients as well as their partners, and identified that psychosocial issues arising from cancer need particular attention.

Most cancer incidence rates are seen to increase with age, [4] but the literature focusing on older cancer patients is not proportionate. The study by Fitch addresses this imbalance to some extent, by considering the perspectives of older cancer patients on cancer-related information. The findings of her mixed-method study give oncology nurses useful insights into how communication with older patients may be improved.

Finally, the study by Bei et al. examines the prioritization of information needs in breast cancer patients, and identifies demographic and clinical characteristics associated with that prioritization. Their findings have interesting implications for tailor-made educational interventions in meeting the information needs of these patients.

Given aging populations and the ever-increasing worldwide incidence of cancer, research in oncology nursing has by any measure become a compelling field of study and is likely to grow in importance in the future. We, therefore, look forward to the publication of more and more high-quality research articles in this field.

 
  References Top

1.
City of Hope. 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment Report; 2013. Available from: http://www.cityofhope.org/document/2013-community-health-needs-assessment-report. [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 14].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Rutten LJ, Arora NK, Bakos AD, Aziz N, Rowland J. Information needs and sources of information among cancer patients: A systematic review of research (1980-2003). Patient Educ Couns 2005;57:250-61.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
So WK, Chan CW, Choi KC, Wan RW, Mak SS, Chair SY. Perceived unmet needs and health-related quality of life of Chinese cancer survivors at 1 year after treatment. Cancer Nurs 2013;36:E23-32.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010; 2013. Available from: http://www.seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2010/. [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 14].  Back to cited text no. 4
    

 
  Authors Top


Kai-Chow Choi, PhD, BSc

Dr. Choi is currently an Assistant Professor of The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has a PhD in Statistics and extensive experience in biostatistics and epidemiological studies. His research interests include epidemiology of obesity and metabolic syndrome, health behavior research, particularly cancer screening behavior and health care needs of cancer survivors, survival analysis with long-term survivors and competing risk models. He has jointly published over 120 papers in international peer-reviewed journals on health care and medical research.





Winnie K. W. So, PhD, MHA, BN, RN

Dr. So is an Associate Professor of the Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her Bachelor of Nursing at Deakin University, Australia in 1993, Master of Health Administration at the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1995 and Doctor of Philosophy at University of Colorado, United States in 2007.

Her research areas cover cancer prevention, supportive care and quality of life of cancer patients, and evidence-based practice for improving quality of care. She has published 60 papers in the international referee journals. She is now the Board of Director (communication portfolio) of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC), Honorary secretary of Asian Oncology Nursing Society, Council member of The World Association for Chinese Quality of Life (WACQOL) and Hong Kong College of Education and Research in Nursing. She is also the associate editor of Asian-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing (APJON), and editorial board member of Cancer Nursing.



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