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Title: Do cancer helplines deliver benefits to people affected by cancer? A systematic review
Authors: Clinton-McHarg T; Paul C; Boyes A; Rose S; Vallentine P; O'Brien L
Categories: Cancer Control, Survivorship, and Outcomes Research - Health Services, Economic and Health Policy Analyses
Cancer Control, Survivorship, and Outcomes Research - Patient Care and Survivorship Issues
Year: 2014
Journal Title: Patient Education and Counseling
Volume: 97
Issue: 3
Page number start: 302
Page number end: 309
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To determine the: (1) proportion of studies that describe characteristics of helpline service delivery, compared to the proportion that report trials testing efficacy or effectiveness of helplines in changing user outcomes; (2) proportion of efficacy or effectiveness studies that meet EPOC criteria for methodological rigor; and (3) potential benefits of cancer helplines for people affected by cancer based on findings from rigorous efficacy or effectiveness trials. METHODS: Electronic databases (Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE and CINAHL) were searched to identify English-language studies describing original research published from 1991 to 2011. RESULTS: Twenty-eight publications met the review inclusion criteria. From these studies, data on: the characteristics of cancer helpline users; call content; and user satisfaction, were extracted. The potential for helplines to improve the psychosocial outcomes of callers was examined for the three intervention trials. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of robust evidence regarding the level and types of benefits that cancer helplines may deliver to callers affected by cancer. Given increased emphasis on delivering best-practise supportive care, building the evidence base in this field may assist cancer helplines to increase their service uptake, reach, and benefit to callers. PRACTISE IMPLICATIONS: There is a need for more rigorous intervention-focussed studies in this field across a broader range of cancer populations. Future studies should focus on relevant patient-centred outcomes, such as improved knowledge and greater involvement in decision-making, while incorporating process measures to account for intervention fidelity and clinical performance
Division: Cancer Research Division
DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2014.09.004
Appears in Collections:Research Articles

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