Research profile: Impact of cancer information and support

Thursday 15 December, 2016
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Cancer Information and Support (CIS) services are community based sources of practical, informational and emotional support for people affected by cancer worldwide. These typically include cancer helplines and associated services and act as a useful adjunct to health services.

A qualitative study published in Supportive Care in Cancer this month by Dr Anna Boltong and colleagues, evaluates the experiences and outcomes of CIS service usage. An analysis of service user interviews revealed three global themes: i) Drivers for access: A sense of needing information, ‘trueness' or support to be able to move on; ii) Experience: What the service user was met with and what they came away with; iii) Impact: What the service or the interaction with the nurse resulted in or enabled.

In this regard, CIS nurses act as navigators, educators and therapeutic communicators to enable callers to better understand and contextualise their situation and the support options available to them. Service use enhanced confidence and competence to manage own health and get the most from the healthcare team.

Informational support through online webinars has proven effective for knowledge, awareness of resources, and confidence to discuss concepts with health professionals or patients. Accepted for publication in Journal of Cancer Education, ‘Using webinars for the education of health professionals and people affected by cancer: processes and evaluation', Meg Chiswell and colleagues describe delivery, evaluation and recommendations for best-practice webinars delivered in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria Clinical Network and McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer.

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