Objective To provide an updated synthesis of the literature that investigates the self-reported information needs of people diagnosed with cancer across the cancer continuum. Methods We conducted a scoping review of the literature published from August 2003 to June 2015 and expanded an existing typology summarizing the information needs of people diagnosed with cancer. Results The majority of the included studies (n = 104) focused on questions relevant to the diagnosis/active treatment phase of the cancer continuum (52.9%) and thus the most frequently identified information needs related to this phase (33.4%). Information needs varied across the continuum and the results highlight the importance of recognising this fact. Conclusion People diagnosed with cancer experience discrete information needs at different points from diagnosis to survival. Much of the research conducted in this area has focused on their information needs during the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and literature relating to information needs following completion of treatment is sparse. Practice implications Further research is needed to discern the specific nature of the treatment concerns and identify the information needs that survivors experience during recurrence of cancer, metastasis or changes in diagnosis, and the end of life phase of the cancer continuum.
- Information needs