National Cancer Information Service in Italy: An information points network as a new model for providing information for cancer patients

Ivana Truccolo, Rosaria Bufalino, Maria Antonietta Annunziata, Anita Caruso, Anna Costantini, Gaetana Cognetti, Antonio Florita, Dina Pero, Patrizia Pugliese, Roberta Tancredi, Francesco De Lorenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The international literature data report that good information and communication are fundamental components of a therapeutic process. They contribute to improve the patient-health care professional relationship, to facilitate doctor-patient relationships, therapeutic compliance and adherence, and to the informed consent in innovative clinical trials. We report the results of a multicentric national initiative that developed a 17-information- structure network: 16 Information Points located in the major state-funded certified cancer centers and general hospitals across Italy and a national Help-line at the nonprofit organization AIMaC (the Italian oncologic patients, families and friends association), and updated the already existing services with the aim to create the National Cancer Information Service (SION). The project is the result of a series of pilot and research projects funded by the Italian Ministry of Health. The Information Servicemodel proposed is based on some fundamental elements: 1) human interaction with experienced operators, adequately trained in communication and information, complemented with 2) virtual interaction (Help line, Internet, blog, forum and social network); 3) informative material adequate for both scientific accuracy and communicative style; 4) adequate locations for appropriate positioning and privacy (adequate visibility); 5) appropriate advertising. First results coming from these initiatives contributed to introduce issues related to "Communication and Information to patients" as a "Public Health Instrument" to the National Cancer Plan approved by the Ministry of Health for the years 2010-2012.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Cancer
  • Communication
  • Inequalities
  • Information services
  • Patient empowerment
  • Psychological support
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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