Using a whole person approach to support people with cancer: a longitudinal, mixed methods service evaluation

Polley, M.J., Jolliffe, R., Boxell, E., Zollman, C., Jackson, S. and Seers, H. 2016. Using a whole person approach to support people with cancer: a longitudinal, mixed methods service evaluation. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 15 (4), pp. 435-445.

TitleUsing a whole person approach to support people with cancer: a longitudinal, mixed methods service evaluation
AuthorsPolley, M.J., Jolliffe, R., Boxell, E., Zollman, C., Jackson, S. and Seers, H.
Abstract

Introduction: Improved models of care are needed to meet all the support needs of people with cancer, which encompass psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual, occupational, social and existential needs. The aim of this paper is to (1) evaluate short and long-term impacts of using a whole person approach to support people with cancer on the Living Well with the Impact of Cancer Course (LWC); (2) use these data to inform strategic decisions about future service provision at Penny Brohn UK.

Methods: Longitudinal mixed-methods service evaluation (n=135). Data collected included health related quality of life (HRQoL) (FACIT-SpEx); Concerns (types and severity - MYCaW); lifestyle behaviour (bespoke questionnaire) and participants’ experiences over 12 months post course.

Results: Statistically and clinically significant improvements from baseline - 12 months in severity of MYCaW Concerns (n=64; p<0.000) and mean total HRQoL (n=66; p<0.000). The majority of MYCaW concerns were ‘psychological and emotional’ and about participants’ wellbeing. Spiritual, emotional and functional wellbeing contributed most to HRQoL improvements at 12 months. Barriers to maintaining healthy lifestyle changes included lack of support from family and friends, time constraints, and returning to work. 3-6 months post-course was identified as the time when more support was most likely to be needed.

Conclusions: Using a whole person approach for the LWC enabled the needs of participants to be met, and statistically and clinically significant improvements in HRQoL and MYCaW Concerns were reported. Qualitative data analysis explored how experiencing whole person support enabled participants to make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes associated with improved survivorship. Barriers experienced to making health behaviour change were also identified. These data then informed wider and more person-centred clinical provision to increase the maintenance of positive long-term behaviour changes. Comparison of whole person approaches to cancer treatment and support and standard care are now urgently needed.

KeywordsWhole person approach; health related quality of life; Cancer; MYCaW concerns; healthy lifestyle changes; evaluation; spiritual wellbeing
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Journal citation15 (4), pp. 435-445
ISSN1534-7354
Year2016
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscriptPolley_etal_2016_AAM_IntegrativeCancerTherapies.pdf
Publisher's version1534735416632060.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1534735416632060
Publication dates
Published09 Apr 2016
LicenseCC BY-NC 3.0

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