Background ‘As more people are surviving cancer treatments and living longer, quality of life becomes as important as length of life’ (Landier 2009). The focus of cancer treatment is now shifting to include helping people deal with the ‘aftermath of treatment’ or survivorship (Wolfson 2010). Our Living Well After Cancer Treatment Programmes (LWACTP) are modelled on Hettler’s Wellness Wheel. This model focuses on the 6 dimensions of wellness including the physical, social, environmental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well being of the patient (National Wellness Institute 2010).
Aim To develop programmes that address survivorship issues in a wellness context.
Method Breast Cancer and Lymphoma were the tumour sites selected for the LWACTP. The programmes are delivered by specialist Cancer Care Coordinators and Social Workers. The delivery method was based on tumour group size and staffing resources. The Breast Cancer programme is a group based education session, whilst the Lymphoma programme are individual clinic sessions. These programmes address both the medical and psychosocial aspects of patient care following cancer treatment.
Evaluation By December 2012, 65 number of cancer survivors have participated (Breast Cancer 35 and Lymphoma 30) in LWACTP. Initial feedback results will be presented. It has also facilitated additional referrals for psychosocial support and awareness of wellness and survivorship issues.
Future plans Ethics approval has been submitted. A validated evaluation tool is under development in collaboration with Ingham Research Institute. Comparative assessment of programme methodology and the wellness concept will be incorporated into the evaluation. Due to the unique nature of the LWACTP, there has been significant interest in the adoption of this programme into the standard practice of other Cancer Therapy Centres and tumour streams.