Abstract: An increasing number of older people are treated for cancer. Several factors, such as comorbidity and sensory deficits, occur more frequently in older patients than in younger patients. In addition, their life circumstances, values, and preferences may differ. These factors ask for tailored nurse-older patient communication. This article reviews recent literature on the specific needs of older patients with cancer in the treatment phase of the disease. No studies addressed treatment-related needs of older patients specifically. Seventeen studies controlled for age showed that many older patients want as much information on disease and treatment as possible, but they are less interested in details than younger patients. Furthermore, older patients reported less need for information on sexual consequences and psychosocial support. The results remain difficult to interpret because of variation in study designs and questionnaires. Moreover, none of the studies controlled for age-related variables. Studies that illuminate the unique needs of older patients with cancer in the treatment phase of the disease are strikingly limited given the demographics of cancer in our society. Research is needed that explicitly investigates these needs and the influence of age-related changes in cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Show DetailView&TermToSearch =17666973&ordinalpos=1&itool=Entrez System2.PEntrez. Pubmed.Pub medResultsPanel. Pubmed_RVDocSum