Numbers of cancer survivors are increasing in Australia. Cancer survivors report physical, psycho-social and practical concerns that are not routinely addressed by health services. Specifically, reduced self-efficacy in recognising new symptoms and fully engaging in life after cancer are commonly reported. Evidence supports trialling goal-focussed self-management approaches that target self-efficacy with cancer survivors. The ‘Moving forward with confidence’ project is piloting a self-management directed intervention following transition from hospital-based cancer treatment.
1. To provide cancer survivors with adequate knowledge and support to: more independently and competently manage their post-treatment health, and optimise their sense of wellbeing in the context of their disease history.
2. Build health professional awareness of common issues facing cancer survivors
3. Educate cancer professionals to support self-management abilities in their patients
100 participants are being recruited across three health services located within north-eastern Melbourne. Participants develop an individualised ‘Health and Wellbeing Plan’ with support from an oncology nurse. Copies of the plan are shared with the participant, their GP and a Nurse HELPLINE service. The HELPLINE nurses provide telephone support at 4 weeks, 4 months and 8 months following initial plan development. A staff mentoring program supports the development of self-management facilitation skills.
Implementation of this project has identified a number of enablers and challenges that have impacted on the progress of the project. Implementation issues will be discussed in relation to health service organisational and workforce factors; identification and recruitment of participants; and acute verses community-based service provision.
Recruitment commenced in May 2012 and to date 28 participants have been recruited. Preminary results will be presented. Evaluation will include pre and post project implementation surveys of participants and staff, and the final report will be available in September 2013.