Systematic review of supportive care needs in patients with primary malignant brain tumors

Ford, E., Catt, S., Chalmers, A. and Fallowfield, L. (2012) Systematic review of supportive care needs in patients with primary malignant brain tumors. Neuro-Oncology, 14(4), pp. 392-404. (doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor229)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


In adults, primary malignant brain tumors (PMBT) are rare, but they have a devastating impact and the chances for survival are limited. UK clinical guidance on supportive care for patients with brain and central nervous system tumors was published in 2006 and relied on very limited evidence. The current article reviews literature from 2005 through 2011 on the psychosocial and supportive needs of patients with PMBT and their families or caregivers. Searches were conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Psychinfo, Cochrane, Scopus, ASSIA, and Sciencedirect. The search initially yielded 6220 articles, of which 60 were found to be eligible (1%). Eleven qualitative and 49 quantitative studies are reviewed here and mapped onto the structure of the existing UK clinical guidance. Studies suggest rates of depression and anxiety up to 48% in patients and up to 40% in caregivers, with many unmet needs and dissatisfaction with health care provider communication and information. Cognitive deficits increase as the disease progresses, hampering communication and decision-making. A range of neurological and physical symptoms at the end of life need recognition. Some successful supportive and neuropsychological interventions are reported. Although the volume of available studies has increased since UK guidance, many remain observational in nature, with few trials of interventions. However, this review provides an up to date resource for clinicians involved with patients with PMBT, describing current knowledge on patients' psychosocial needs, the type of care which has been found to be beneficial, and highlighting areas where more research needs to be done.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chalmers, Professor Anthony
Authors: Ford, E., Catt, S., Chalmers, A., and Fallowfield, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Neuro-Oncology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1523-5866
Published Online:03 February 2012
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
563531Overcoming treatment resistance in glioblastoma multiforme by tumour specific inhibition of DNA repairAnthony ChalmersMedical Research Council (MRC)G0802755ICS - PATHOLOGY