Support service use and interest in support services among lung cancer patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examined support service use and interest in support services among lung cancer patients (N= 165) at two comprehensive medical centers in the midwestern United States. Materials and methods: Patients completed an assessment of support service use (i.e., receipt of mental health services, complementary and alternative medicine [CAM], and help from a spiritual leader), interest in support services, and physical and psychological symptoms. Results: Only 40% of patients with significant anxiety and depressive symptoms and 28% of the entire sample reported current mental health service use. However, nearly half (47%) of all patients were receiving support from a spiritual leader. Having late-stage lung cancer and a religious affiliation predicted receipt of spiritual support. Few patients who were not receiving mental health services or spiritual support were interested in these services (range. = 4-18%). Conversely, although interest in CAM was expressed by a substantial minority of patients (27%) who were not using these services, rates of CAM use were relatively low (22%). Conclusions: Findings suggest that distressed lung cancer patients underuse mental health services, but many patients receive help from spiritual leaders. Given the lack of interest in mental health services among patients who are not receiving them, efforts are needed to enhance palatability of services and identify and reduce barriers to evidence-based service use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Complementary therapies
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Mental health services
  • Psychological distress
  • Religion
  • Spiritual therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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