What are the post-treatment information needs of rural cancer survivors in Australia? A systematic literature review

Belinda C. Goodwin, Leah Zajdlewicz, Anna Stiller, Elizabeth A. Johnston, Larry Myers, Joanne F. Aitken, Rebecca J. Bergin, Raymond J. Chan, Fiona Crawford-Williams, Jon D. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To conduct a systematic literature review to critically assess the met and unmet post-treatment information needs of cancer survivors living in rural communities in Australia, to inform the improvement of survivors' transition from treatment in major cities to community care. Methods: Cumulative index of nursing and allied health literature, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane CENTRAL and Academic Search Ultimate databases and websites of 118 cancer organisations were searched for relevant Australian studies published since 2006. Key search terms included ‘rural’, ‘remote’, ‘regional’, ‘cancer’, ‘survivor*’, ‘living with’, and ‘post-treatment’. Data reflecting study source, aims, methodology, and reported information needs were extracted and summarised. Study quality was assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute tools. Results: Fifty-two articles met eligibility criteria. Only six of these specified a primary aim of understanding information needs for rural cancer survivors. Information on prognosis and recovery; managing treatment side effects; healthy lifestyle choices; referrals to support services, and face-to-face and written delivery of information at multiple time points were reported as needed and often lacking for rural cancer survivors. Conclusions: Co-ordinated, multi-step provision of information to support health and recovery after cancer treatment and beyond is likely to be particularly important for rural cancer survivors given their broad range of needs and reduced access to health care services. Findings provide useful recommendations to facilitate patients' transition home to rural communities after cancer treatment in major cities, however, an increased understanding of the information needs of rural survivors is required to inform the development of guidelines that can be used in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1012
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Australia
  • cancer
  • information needs
  • oncology
  • rural
  • survivor
  • systematic review


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