Center on Stress and Health

Cancer and Integrative Medicine

Rosenbaum, E., H. Gautier, P. Fobair, E. Neri, B. Festa, M. Hawn, A. Andrews, N. Hirshberger, S. Selim and D. Spiegel (2004). "Cancer supportive care, improving the quality of life for cancer patients. A program evaluation report." Support Care Cancer 12(5): 293-301.
GOALS OF WORK: As medical care for cancer has become more specialized in diagnosis, treatment has become more technical and fragmented. In order to help cancer patients and their families, we developed a coordinated program called the Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program (SCSCP) at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. The Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program was initiated in 1999 to provide support for cancer patients, addressing the need for improved physical and emotional well-being and quality of life. This paper is a program evaluation report. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The number of patient visits grew from 421 in 1999 to 6319 in 2002. This paper describes the utilization of the SCSCP program as assessed by 398 patient visit evaluations during a 9-week period, January 2002 to March 2002. During this time we collected attendance records with demographic data and anonymous questionnaires evaluating each program. Patients were asked to evaluate how the program helped them regarding increase of energy, reduction in stress, restful sleep, pain reduction, sense of hopefulness, and empowerment. MAIN RESULTS: Over 90% of the patients using the SCSCP felt there was benefit to the program. Programs were chosen based on a needs assessment by oncologists, nurse managers, social workers, and patients. Massage, yoga, and qigong classes had the highest number of participants. Qualitative data showed benefit for each program offered. CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation of a free cancer supportive care program initiated in a hospital outpatient setting provides initial evidence of patient satisfaction and improvement in quality of life.

Rosenbaum, E., H. Gautier, P. Fobair, A. Andrews, M. Hawn, R. Kurshner, B. Festa, P. Kramer, F. Manuel, N. Hirschberger, S. Selim and D. Spiegel (2003). "Developing a free supportive care program for cancer patients within an integrative medicine clinic." Support Care Cancer 11(5): 263-9.
The cancer patient's journey not only includes a threat to one's life, but the need to face many medical and emotional challenges. The free Cancer Supportive Care Program (CSCP) within the Center for Integrative Medicine Clinic at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics has been identified as a successful model for helping patients to deal with these challenges. Its programs include informational lectures, support groups, chair massages, exercise, alternative modality classes, a Life Tapes Project, an informational website, and a bimonthly newsletter available free to anybody touched by cancer. Now in its third year, this program benefits from a blending of leadership resources, availability of space, institutional agreement on patient need and funds from private and corporate donations. By presenting the basic premises of the Cancer Supportive Care program and outlining specifics about the program, institutions in various national and international demographic regions may implement similar programs according to their resources and the needs of patients. It is our hope that the CSCP can become a model for the development of similar programs in various parts of the United States and abroad.

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