Oral Presentation FCIC Survivorship Conference 2013

What can cancer care learn from the chronic condition management field? (#12)

Sharon Lawn 1
  1. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia

The concepts of chronic condition self-management by people with long-term health conditions, and chronic condition self-management support from formal health care providers and the person’s informal support networks, are well established for long-term diseases. With growing rates of cancer survivorship, it is timely to consider how adverse yet unavoidable impacts of cancer treatments and the experience of cancer can be managed to minimise long-term adverse impacts on the person’s health and wellbeing, and the development of other chronic conditions. Therefore, it is timely to consider what cancer care can learn from these concepts given that, for many oncologists and other cancer care professionals, looking at cancer as a chronic illness is a novel concept. This is also important for those working in the chronic condition management area, as more cancer survivors are likely to approach these services for ongoing support. This presentation will explore a range of chronic condition self-management support principles and approaches, applied to cancer survivors’ care and self-care. Lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise), complementary therapies, and rehabilitation, focused on person-centred, motivational and goal-focused support may prevent and alleviate the development of further comorbid chronic health problems and disability for cancer survivors. The feasibility and acceptability of these approaches, applied to cancer survivors, will be discussed, drawing examples from recent collaborations at Flinders University between chronic condition and cancer care researchers.