Following, the Supportive and Palliative Care Guidance, a call was made for a metaethnography on social support services for people affected by cancer. We responded by focusing on the topic of financial advice and support. After a scoping exercise revealed little qualitative evidence, we adopted the chief aim of identifying issues for research. Over 50 keywords relating to patient finances, cancer and qualitative research were entered into electronic search databases and combined. Because of the nature of the literature found, we synthesized primary data into themes and discussion, rather than second-order constructs into third-order constructs, as is common in meta-ethnography. Most of the literature found serves pragmatic, campaigning and/or service-development objectives. Also, most relates to disability benefits rather than insurance, tax and other issues. Five themes emerged: patients' struggles to obtain financial advice and benefits; tests/rules for disability benefits; issues relating to 'Special Rules'; intervention by benefit advisers; and intervention by health/social-care professionals. Struggles with the benefit system emerged as the fundamental theme. We conclude that patients need sensitive, proactive services to assist with benefit claims, and a benefit system that seems supportive rather than obstructive. Numerous under-researched topics were identified, including the need for general financial advice, help for carers, and cultural issues. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Advice and support
- Welfare benefits