Background and Context:
Increased cancer detection, an ageing population and improvements in cancer treatment, have resulted in increasing numbers of cancer survivors. Many survivors and carers report a lack of information and support following treatment. Current evidence supports the delivery of education for cancer survivors.
To pilot a group based program for cancer survivors and their carers and evaluate the mode of delivery, content and overall satisfaction for participants and facilitators of the program.
Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) developed and piloted a one day module as part of the Living with Cancer Education Program (LWCEP) for cancer survivors, their families and friends that included information on survivorship care and support, diet and exercise. CCV collaborated with trained health professional facilitators to deliver the pilot module across four cancer centres.
A multidisciplinary advisory committee made up of LWCEP facilitators agreed on topics to be included in the pilot program through a consensus process. Following the pilot, eight facilitators attended a semi-structured focus group to discuss mode of delivery, content and program satisfaction. Additionally, 66 participants were invited to complete a 31-item (open, closed) post program questionnaire assessing mode of delivery, content, overall program satisfaction and demographics.
Outcomes/What was learned:
The facilitator focus group identified common themes: program content is clear and relevant; PowerPoint presentations require refinement; participant needs varied; program extremely well received.
Fifty-five (83%) post program participant questionnaires were completed. Forty-five respondents had completed cancer treatment. Ten were family member/friends. Forty-six (84%) preferred content delivered over one full day rather than shorter four weekly sessions. Fifty-three (96%) were either satisfied or very satisfied with the program. Topics evaluated most highly were: support services, staying healthy after cancer and emotions and cancer.
Future directions of the program include wider delivery across regional areas and flexible delivery formats, including large forums and webinars.