Towards improving the co-ordination of supportive cancer care services in the community
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In this paper an evaluation approach to assess the co-ordination of supportive community cancer care is presented. The aim of the study was to identify current gaps in co-ordination of services in a selected region in the province of Ontario, Canada, determine how consistent these gaps were across the province of Ontario, and develop service design considerations for improving the co-ordination of supportive cancer care services in the province of Ontario. The study addressed services required by two populations -clients who had been recently diagnosed and those in the palliative stages of cancer. The evaluation was theory-driven and incorporated evidence from three methods: a systematic literature review, a community case study and a provincial scan. The results revealed the absence of a formal supportive cancer care system and a complex community care system. Supportive cancer care was shown to be delivered by a range of generalist programs that lacked specialisation in addressing the unique needs of cancer clients. In addition, there was no clear evidence of leadership for co-ordinating supportive cancer care, where client care was most often provided by multiple programs at any given point in time. The study generated recommendations to improve co-ordination of supportive cancer care at both the administrative as well as direct care level.
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