Institutional capacity to provide psychosocial oncology support services... Zebrack et al Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Institutional capacity to provide psychosocial oncology support services... Zebrack et al

  Institutional capacity to provide psychosocial oncology support services: A report from the Association of Oncology Social Work


This study reports cancer-treating institutions' capacity to deliver comprehensive psychosocial support services.


Oncology care providers at 60 cancer-treating institutions completed surveys assessing the capacity of their institutions to provide psychosocial care. Capacity was assessed with the Cancer Psychosocial Care Matrix (CPCM) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Scores represented individuals' perceptions of their cancer program's performance with respect to 10 fundamental elements of psychosocial care.


Among 2134 respondents, 62% reported a mid-level capacity for ≥5 of 10 CPCM items. In comparison with other types of cancer programs (eg, NCI-designated, academic, or comprehensive centers), providers at community cancer programs reported a significantly greater capacity with respect to patient-provider communication, psychosocial needs assessment, and continuity in the delivery of psychosocial care over time. Nurses and primary medical providers reported a significantly lower capacity for linking patients and families with needed psychosocial services within their respective cancer programs. They also reported a significantly higher capacity for conducting follow-up, re-evaluations, and adjustments of psychosocial treatment plans.


Cancer programs are performing moderately well in terms of communicating to patients the importance of psychosocial care, identifying patient psychosocial needs, and referring patients and families to psychosocial services. They are doing less well with respect to the provision of that care over time. Findings suggest that gaps in psychosocial service capacity are a function of patient, provider, and system characteristics. These results may be useful in formulating strategies to enhance psychosocial care delivery.


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