Background and Context:One of the consequences of cancer treatment is that patients experience a degree of functional decline that impacts on their ability to transition back to their former lifesyle at completion of treatment. There is growing national and international evidence that a holistic, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program can improve the qualtity of life of cancer survivors. In the private health sector however, there is often limited opportunity for multidisciplinary involvement in cancer care and this has implications for patients' supportive care need outcomes during and post treatment.
Aim:The purpose of this paper is to present the conceptual framework for the development and implementation of a cancer survivor rehabiltation program in a private healthcare institution.
Strategy/Tactics:1. literature review; 2. Convened a multidisciplinary party to further analyse the needs of cancer patients post trreatment; 3. A preliminary framework and business plan was developed and presented to the hospital executive; 4. Discussion with health insurers regarding rebates; 5. Engaged with researchers for the purpose of evaluating the program; 6. A date for the 8-week pilot program set and purposefully recruited participants as they would also act as key informants for the future development/enhancement of the program.
Programme/Policy Process:A physical and psychological rehabilitation program with four key concepts integrated into the design was developed and piloted. 1. the particiapants had a 1:1 session with a psychologist; 2. the exercise program was individually tailored and supervised; 3. single tumour stream; and 4. closed group format.
Outcomes/What was learned:The intergrated rehabilitation design was well received by participants who valued being able to address both psychological and physical needs as well as being able to share their experiences and discuss tumour stream specific issues. There is a need for this program to have continuous quality evaluation to allow for iterative changes according to group needs.