Mapping a decade of interventions to address the supportive care needs of individuals living with or beyond cancer: a scoping review of reviews

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Purpose: Individuals diagnosed with cancer have a range of supportive care needs that are often unmet despite substantial evidence supporting interventions to address them. Addressing this knowledge-translation gap represents a significant opportunity to improve health outcomes. A scoping review of reviews was conducted to map the breadth of evidence for interventions, highlighting those with an existing evidence base, as well as those requiring further research. Methods: Systematic or meta-analytic reviews that examined interventions targeting supportive care needs of adults and children with cancer published between 2009 and 2019 were identified via searches in Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Scopus and Cochrane. Results: Five hundred fifty-one systematic reviews, including 250 meta-analyses, of interventions addressing supportive care needs, were included. Most reviews focused on interventions to address the physical and psychosocial needs of individuals with few reviews identified to address practical needs. Interventions using mental health therapies and physical activity were most commonly used to address all supportive care needs, followed by the use of pharmaceutical and medical devices, complementary and alternative therapies, information and education resources, dietary information and specific spirituality and return-to-work interventions. Conclusion: This scoping review of reviews presents the first broad overview of the literature addressing the supportive care needs of people living with or beyond cancer. It provides a database that health service providers can search to identify appropriate interventions. Results highlight specific research gaps, particularly for practical needs, where reviews are needed. It highlights where a substantial evidence base exists that researchers and policy-makers can consider when implementing interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3793-3804
Number of pages12
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number5
Early online date14 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Cancer
  • Oncology
  • Patient-centred care
  • Scoping review
  • Supportive care needs


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