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The Cancer Supportive Care Program USA and Abroad for Improving the Quality of Life (QOL) for Patients
The Future of Supportive Therapy in Oncology: An International Congress Southampton, Bermuda 13-16 March 2003
Ernest H. Rosenbaum, Holly Gautier, Patricia Fobair, Bernadette Festa, Alexandra Andrews, Naama Hirschberger and David Spiegel
Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, California, USA

Abstract: The purpose of the Cancer Supportive Care Program (CSCP) is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and families through rehabilitation and education to help reduce the morbidity and toxicity of cancer and cancer therapy, To meet these needs we established a free CSCP at the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and at several centers in the US and abroad.

The Stanford CSCP offers patient information, weekly classes, workshops, support groups and life-tapes. Also included are programs such as nutrition, Feldenkrais, Restorative Yoga, QiGong, fatigue, pain control, guided imagery, energy, Write For Life, massage, support groups, and control of cancer therapy side effects. A clinical pilot research study has been completed which evaluated the QOL, functional capacity and symptom control. The Stanford program had 12,000 visitors during the last three years with an 89% patient approval rating. An analysis of the results will be presented. The pilot project has shown improved QOL scores for all programs.

The Stanford CSCP model is available to help promote similar programs both nationally and internationally. Small and large cancer centers or oncology offices can implement a modified Stanford CSCP based on available resources (nurse, medical social worker, psychologist, physical therapist and dietitian) and can develop a tailored version of the Stanford CSCP. Currently programs are being conducted based on available manpower and resources. A Stanford grant to promote and provide free guidance to help establish similar programs in the United States and worldwide has been provided.

The Cancer Supportive Care Website was started in May 1999 to provide education and support to a world wide audience and is available in over 130 countries. The life tape project provides a 2-3 hour recorded free DVD and Video interviews of family members who bond by telling family stories of their life, family history and geneology.

Conclusion: The goal of the CSCP is to improve patient quality of life by implementing multi-disciplinary CSCPs to complement standard medical treatment. The CSCP model can be used to promote similar programs in the U.S. and around the world.

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