RETURNING HOME: PSYCHOSOCIAL CARE DURING THE RE-ENTRY PHASE OF CANCER SURVIVORSHIP IN RURAL AUSTRALIA
Janice Pascal and her colleagues, at La Trobe Rural Health School, Victoria, have just published an interesting paper in the European Journal of Cancer Care on the psychosocial care offered to those diagnosed and treated with cancer in rural Victoria (Australia). The European Journal of Cancer Care has an impact factor of 1.762 and is ranked 40th of 85 journals in Health Care Sciences & Services and 150th of 202 Oncology journals.
The purpose of this research was to highlight gaps in formal psychosocial care for cancer survivors in rural communities. Psychosocial was defined as the “psychological, behavioural and social aspects of illness and its consequences”. Janice Pascal and her colleagues found that psychosocial care was provided informally within the period after cancer diagnosis and treatment when people re-enter their community. Current Australian clinical guidelines on psychosocial care for people with cancer indicate the need for the provision of formal psychosocial care (National Breast Cancer Centre and National Cancer Control Initiative, 2003). Despite this, participants in their study largely cared for themselves, or received informal support from family, friends and community members. Many psychosocial care needs remained unmet and professional support appeared lacking.
Janice Pascal and her colleagues argue that their findings have implications for the development of new protocols for treatment and discharge planning, which have a greater emphasis on the health professional–patient–family relationships, and the long-term well-being of cancer survivors living in rural communities. A model for understanding the experience of formal supportive care during the re-entry phase of survivorship is provided in the paper.
The paper’s reference is: Pascal J., Johnson N., Dickson-Swift V. and Kenny A. (2014) Returning home: psychosocial care during the re-entry phase of cancer survivorship in rural Australia. European Journal of Cancer Care. (early view) Doi: 10.1111/ecc.12232
The paper can be accessed at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecc.12232/full