A psychosocial cancer phone center staffed by professional psychologists as an integral part of the standard process of care: Its utility during the course of illness

Paola Arnaboldi, Francesca N. Lupo, Luigi Santoro, Luigia Rubio, Angela Tenore, Ilaria Solinas, Fabrizio Delle Grotti, Vito Ferri, Nicasia Teresi, Stefano Zurrida, Florence Didier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Major cancer centers cannot ignore psychosocial patient needs that have a significant impact on the process of adjustment to cancer and on compliance to treatments. We introduced a new service, the Gigi Ghirotti Psychosocial Cancer Phone Center (GGPCPC), staffed by professional psychologists, for use by our patients and their relatives. This article investigates its feasibility as a support delivery vehicle for patients in their follow-up phase, and also investigates patients' sense of abandonment related to their care setting.Method: A close collaboration was set up between GGPCPC psychologists and European Institute of Oncology (IEO) psychologists. Education and awareness sessions regarding the importance of such a source of psychological support were conducted by IEO psychologists with nurses, secretaries, and receptionists. IEO psychologists input monthly data, recorded on specific paper-tabs by GGPCPC psychologists for each call received by the phone center between March 2007 and March 2009, into a SPSS database.Results: Four hundred and thirty individuals contacted the center mainly to receive psychological support during their treatment phase, when they visited IEO for treatment sessions. Multiple indicators suggest that this telephone support program was feasible and provided support to a broad range of cancer patients. Patients seemed to prefer it to face-to-face psychological support during their treatment-phase.Significance of results: The GGPCPC was demonstrated to be an efficacious support and information delivery vehicle for patients and relatives during the illness course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Cancer help line
  • Cancer illness course
  • Professional psychologists
  • Psychosocial cancer patient needs
  • Psychosocial cancer phone center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Nursing(all)

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