purpose: In an effort to mitigate the negative psychological sequelae of a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment, efforts have been made to explore a variety of psychosocial issues and interventions. This article describes the provision and preliminary evaluation of a novel psychosocial service delivery, a residential “retreat” program called Tapestry, which is run under the aegis of the established cancer care community in Alberta, Canada.
overview: Retreat programs offer a novel way to provide psychosocial support for those persons who are living with cancer. The retreats are unique in the provision of a respite and the opportunity to address the isolation and other existential issues arising from a cancer diagnosis. The program described in this article has provided such a service six times per year since 1998. The intervention is described, and preliminary evaluation data are presented.
clinical implications: Cancer care has begun to move beyond a solely biomedical paradigm toward a more holistic ethos in service delivery and research orientation. While the face value of and demand for such programming continues to grow, few residential psychosocial programs are offered under the auspices of conventional cancer care centers, and little work has been done to examine the nature and possible efficacy of retreat programs as a valid forum for psychosocial service delivery.