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Unmet needs and barriers in venous thromboembolism education and awareness among people living with cancer: A global survey.

BACKGROUND: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major preventable cause of morbidity, disability, and mortality in subjects with cancer. A global appraisal of cancer-associated VTE education and awareness is not available.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate VTE-related education, awareness, and unmet needs from the perspective of people living with cancer using a quantitative and qualitative approach.

PATIENTS/METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from an online-based survey covering multidimensional domains of cancer-associated VTE. Data are presented descriptively. Potential differences across participant subgroups were explored.

RESULTS: Among 2262 patients with cancer from 42 countries worldwide, 55.3% received no VTE education throughout their cancer journey, and an additional 8.2% at the time of VTE diagnosis only, leading to 63.5% receiving none or inappropriately delayed education. When education was delivered, only 67.8% received instructions to seek medical attention in case of VTE suspicion, and 36.9% reported scarce understanding. One third of participants (32.4%) felt psychologically distressed when becoming aware of the potential risks and implications connected with cancer-associated VTE. Most responders (78.8%) deemed VTE awareness highly relevant, but almost half expressed concerns on the quality of education received. While overall consistent, findings in selected survey domains appeared to numerically differ across age groups, ethnicity, continent of residence, educational level, metastatic status, and VTE history.

CONCLUSIONS: This study involving a large and diverse population of individuals living with cancer identifies important unmet needs in VTE-related education, awareness, and support across healthcare systems globally. These findings unveil multilevel opportunities to expedite patient-centered care in cancer-associated VTE prevention and management.

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