Preparing professional staff to care for cancer survivors

Marcia Grant, Denice Economou, Betty Ferrell, Smita Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Oncology health care professionals frequently lack the background to implement needed survivorship activities and follow-up care. The purpose of this project is to assist providers in the clarification and initiation of potentially durable changes in survivorship care by developing a health professional curriculum, recruiting participants, implementing the course, conducting course evaluation and following participants' defined goals over time. The curriculum was developed based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine Report-From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor-Lost in Transition. Three concepts were used to structure the course: cancer survivorship quality of life, changing practice via performance improvement, and principles of adult education. Expert faculty designed and implemented the curriculum and teaching methods using adult learning principles and an interactive approach. Competitively-selected, two-person interdisciplinary teams for the first course (July 12-15, 2006, Pasadena, California) were selected based on stated interests, three projected goals, and letters of commitment from administrators. Participants represented 52 cancer care settings from 28 states. Teams included Nurses (48.1%), Social Workers (20.7%), Physicians (18.8%), Directors/Administrators (6.6%), Psychologists (2.8%), and others (3%). The institutional barriers identified by teams were lack of survivorship knowledge (94 %), financial constraints (61%), lack of administrative support (6%), and staff philosophy that excluded survivorship (15%). Evaluation of content from the first course was consistently positive. Dissemination of survivorship education for health care professionals stimulates participants to define and begin to implement goals for improving survivors' care. A training program such as the one described provides professional knowledge regarding survivorship that has the potential to facilitate change in the health care that cancer survivors receive thus ideally improving long term health and well being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-106
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Keywords

  • Health care
  • Health professional education
  • Quality of life
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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