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Holistic needs assessment in brain cancer patients: a systematic review of available tools.

Afseth, Janyne; Neubeck, Lis; Karatzias, Thanos; Grant, Robin


Lis Neubeck

Thanos Karatzias

Robin Grant


This systematic review describes tools which could be considered for use for holistic needs assessment (HNA) in brain cancer. MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and PsycINFO were searched. Studies were included which met the following criteria; primary research published in English which reported the development, psychometric testing or clinical utility testing of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for the assessment of adult brain cancer patients’ needs, problems or concerns or generic cancer needs assessment tools developed specifically on a brain cancer or brain tumour population. Nine articles describing four tools were identified. The tools were first assessed using the COSMIN protocol for systematic reviews of measurement properties and then assessed for their quality and usefulness as a holistic needs assessment tool. None of the four tools had strong psychometric properties; however, the two symptom questionnaires had better psychometric properties but would need adapted to holistically assess the multiple domains of need. The two HNA tools had only minimal psychometric testing. The lack of a tool, which adequately meets all requirements for HNA, supports the need to further development of tools to optimise this intervention.


AFSETH, J., NEUBECK, L., KARATZIAS T. and GRANT, R. 2018. Holistic needs assessment in brain cancer patients: a systematic review of available tools. European journal of cancer care [online], 28(3), article e12931. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 26, 2018
Publication Date May 20, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 16, 2022
Journal European Journal of Cancer Care
Print ISSN 0961-5423
Electronic ISSN 1365-2354
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 3
Keywords Brain tumors; Cancer; Holistic needs assessment; Questionnaires; Supportive care
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