Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 223–230 | Cite as

Impact of emotional competence on supportive care needs, anxiety and depression symptoms of cancer patients: a multiple mediation model

  • A.-S. BaudryEmail author
  • S. Lelorain
  • M. Mahieuxe
  • V. ChristopheEmail author
Original Article



The aim of this study was to test the effect of intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional competence on cancer patients’ supportive care needs, as mediated by anxiety and depression symptoms.


Cross-sectional design: 137 cancer patients (42% breast or ovarian cancer, 58% gastrointestinal cancer) in 4 French hospitals completed the Profile of Emotional Competence (PEC), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Supportive Care Needs Survey Short Form (SCNS-SF). Bootstrap methods with PROCESS Macro were used to test multiple mediation models.


Emotional competence presented a direct or indirect beneficial effect on the satisfaction of supportive care needs, anxiety and depression symptoms. As expected, anxiety and depression symptoms had also strong positive correlations with unmet needs. All multiple mediation models were significant, except for physical needs: intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional competence impacted anxiety and depression symptoms, which in turn impacted psychological, sexual, care/support, and information needs.


These innovative results show the important effect of patients’ emotional competence on their supportive care need satisfaction, as mediated by anxiety and depression. Consequently, patients with high emotional competence may require less psychosocial input from medical clinicians. Thus, emotional competence may be integrated into health models and psychosocial interventions to improve patient adjustment. Further investigation is, however, needed to know which are the most beneficial specific emotional competences and at what point of the cancer pathway.


Emotional intelligence Supportive care needs Anxiety Depression Multiple mediation 



The authors wish to extend their sincere thanks to all the patients of the study, as well as all the investigators: Manon Lafarge, Ferdaous Kooli, Amandine Duhamel (Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes), Perrine Coroller (Polyclinique du Bois), and Stéphanie Cambien (Hôpital privé la Louvière) for the collected data. The authors also thank the SIRIC ONCOLille, Grant INCa-DGOS-Inserm 6041, for their help.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethics Committee of Lille University (France).

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Lille, UMR CNRS 9193 - SCALab - Sciences Cognitives et Sciences AffectivesVilleneuve d’Ascq cedexFrance
  2. 2.SIRIC ONCOLille - Maison Régionale de la Recherche CliniqueLille cedexFrance
  3. 3.Centre Hospitalier de Dunkerque - Service OncologieDunkerque cedexFrance

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