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Self-management support in cancer care pilot study, Cancer Control and Screening Research Group


About us

Although cancer mortality is decreasing and survival statistics for most cancers are increasing, patient experience data indicate that treatment is not meeting patients’ overall needs. A review of research into the needs and experiences of people affected by cancer in New Zealand indicated a desire for more timely information, better support, and help fitting the cancer journey into the context of everyday life. How can the experience of cancer care be improved? This study takes a critical approach and integrates models of care in order to identify an intervention to improve cancer care.

This supportive care randomised controlled trial pilot will explore the effects of a self-management support intervention on patient-reported outcomes. The intervention pilot study will explore coping strategies in 2012 and pilot a support intervention in 2013. Individuals and family/whānau affected by colorectal cancer (and concurrent conditions) receiving outpatient treatment in 2013 will be given the opportunity to participate in the pilot study at the Wellington Blood & Cancer. The primary purpose of this study is to explore the acceptability, feasibility and utility of self-management support and care planning intervention in the secondary care outpatient cancer treatment context for Māori and non-Māori individuals affected by colorectal cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

This study uses a sequential mixed methods approach. The stages are:

  1. Qualitative research to explore coping strategies and the fit of a proposed self-management support and care planning intervention;
  2. An intervention pilot of a single self-management tool (i.e. The Flinders Program) with assessments of self-management competency, chronic disease self-efficacy, quality of life, patient activation status and patient experience.

If indicated, a larger randomised controlled trial will be developed in 2014 across regions and cancer types.

Our people

  • Inga O’Brien (PhD candidate), Unversity of Otago, Wellington
  • Diana Sarfati, Unversity of Otago, Wellington
  • Louise Signal, Unversity of Otago, Wellington
  • James Stanley, Unversity of Otago, Wellington
  • Lis Ellison-Loschmann, Massey University, Wellington