Department of Health

Supportive care in cancer is an umbrella term used to describe services that may be required by those affected by cancer. It includes self-help and support, information, psychological support, symptom control, social support, rehabilitation, spiritual support, palliative care and bereavement care. Supportive care in cancer refers to the following five domains:

  • physical needs
  • psychological needs
  • social needs
  • information needs
  • spiritual needs.

All members of the multidisciplinary team have a role in providing supportive care. In addition, support from family, friends, support groups, volunteers and other community-based organisations make an important contribution to supportive care.

Supportive care is an underlying principle in the optimal care pathways for cancer.

Supportive care screening prevalence study

The Investigating practices relating to supportive care screening in Victorian cancer services project is a study of more than 600 recently diagnosed cancer patients across 21 Victorian health services. The project was conducted in 2018.

The aims of the supportive care screening prevalence study were to:

  • determine the prevalence of supportive care screening actions delivered to the Victorian cancer population across inpatient and ambulatory settings
  • identify the resulting actions (i.e. referral, assessment, outcome) for those screened and not screened
  • determine how well the resulting actions meet the population needs
  • gain insight into the patient experience of having supportive care needs identified and addressed
  • establish oncology clinicians knowledge, experience and attitudes towards supportive care screening.

Download the full technical report for the study Investigating practices relating to supportive care screening in Victorian cancer services.

Reviewed 15 June 2023


Contact details

Cancer Support, Treatment and Research Department of Health

Was this page helpful?