Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018

Outcomes of a new cancer rehabilitation and survivorship service in a rural hospital (#410)

Kerryn James 1 , Julie Symons 1 , Emma McLaughlin 1
  1. Castlemaine Health, Castlemaine, VIC, Australia

In 2016, Castlemaine Health received a Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program: Phase II Grants Scheme - Grant Type 3 to establish a Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Service. To create the individualised service, existing resources were re-oriented into a cancer-specific stream within the outpatients rehabilitation service.  A team of seven generalist rural allied health professionals and two nurses were upskilled through education and training. During the first year, 60 people (50% female) were referred to the service.  The average age of clients was 68 years (Range: 45-94). Twenty-nine tumour types were represented. Years since diagnosis ranged from 0-26, with the majority diagnosed within the previous two years. Clients underwent a comprehensive initial needs assessment that informed a goal directed care plan. Each client set an average of four goals, with 76 percent of goals attained upon review. The most frequently reported problems at baseline were fatigue (73%), pain (49%) nervousness (46%) and poor memory/concentration (46%). Of the ten clients who completed a FACT-G questionnaire at baseline and discharge, all initial subscale T-scores were below the population average except for social well-being (t=54.1). By discharge, the T-score improved considerably for physical well-being, but remained below the norm (t=43.2). The total FACT-G score at discharge improved to normal levels (t=50.9). Discharge consultations were undertaken with nine clients. All clients said they would recommend the service to others and eight reported feeling involved in managing their own health. Key data themes included the service being helpful (9), supportive (6), and accessible and/or reduced the burden of travel (5). The Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Service is now embedded within the Community Rehabilitation Centre. This model of care could be integrated into other organisations, through a process of allocating existing resources into a cancer specific stream.