Implications of a needs assessment intervention for people with progressive cancer: Impact on clinical assessment, response and service utilisation

Authors

  • Amy Waller,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    • Department of Psychosocial Resources, Cancer Care, Alberta Health Services, Tom Baker Cancer Centre–Holy Cross Site, 2202 2nd Street SW, Calgary, Canada T2S 3C1
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  • Afaf Girgis,

    1. Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • Claire Johnson,

    1. Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • Christophe Lecathelinais,

    1. Centre for Health Research and Psycho-oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, The Cancer Council NSW, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • David Sibbritt,

    1. School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • Michael Seldon,

    1. Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • Tony Bonaventura,

    1. Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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  • David Currow,

    1. Discipline of Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
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  • on behalf of the Palliative Care Research Program team


  • The Palliative Care Research Program team also includes (in alphabetical order): Patricia Davidson, Emma Gorton, Brian Kelly, Linda Kristjanson, Geoff Mitchell, Martin Tattersall and Patsy Yates.

Abstract

Objective: To assess the impact of the systematic use of the Palliative Care Needs Assessment Guidelines and Needs Assessment Tool: Progressive Disease-Cancer (NAT: PD-C) on clinical assessment, response and service utilisation.

Study setting: Three major oncology treatment centres in NSW, Australia.

Study design: Between March 2007 and December 2009, 219 people with advanced cancer were recruited to complete bi-monthly telephone interviews. The intervention, introduced after at least two baseline interviews, involved training health professionals to complete the NAT: PD-C with patients approximately monthly.

Data collection: Rates of service use and referrals were compared pre- and post-introduction of the NAT: PD-C. Rates of completion of the tool; its impact on consultation length; and the types of needs and follow-up care to address these were also assessed.

Principal findings: The NAT: PD-C had a high rate of completion; identified needs consistent with those self-reported by patients in interviews; and did not alter consultation length. No changes in the number of health professionals seen by patients were found pre- and post-intervention.

Conclusion: The NAT: PD-C is an efficient and acceptable strategy for supporting needs-based cancer care that can potentially be incorporated into standard routine care without increasing the burden on care providers. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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