The cancer psychosocial care matrix: a community-derived evaluative tool for designing quality psychosocial cancer care delivery

Forsythe LP, Rowland JH, Padgett L, Blaseg K, Siegel SD, Dingman CM, Gillis TA

Psychooncology 2013 Sep;22(9):1953-62

PMID: 23436558


OBJECTIVE: Although the Institute of Medicine provided a vision for effective psychosocial care for cancer survivors, limited guidance exists regarding the essential components of comprehensive care or progressive steps for implementing each component. This paper describes the development of a unique tool for assessing capacity to provide quality psychosocial care to cancer survivors and the results of the first implementation of this tool in community settings.

METHODS: The psychosocial working group of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) developed the Cancer Psychosocial Care Matrix assessment tool. All NCCCP sites (n=30, enrolled in 2007 nd 2010) completed the matrix indicating their capacity for providing psychosocial care at entry into NCCCP (‘baseline’) after 2 years of NCCCP participation (2007 sites only) and within the coming year (‘future aspirations’).

RESULTS: At baseline, matrix responses reflected few or no systematic processes in place for most components of comprehensive psychosocial care. However, reported capacity to deliver specific components improved at 2 years post-NCCCP entry for the 2007 sites and in all NCCCP sites’ future aspirations.

CONCLUSIONS: With growing demand on cancer centers to meet new metrics of quality care, the psychosocial matrix can help centers systematically identify and develop steps to address gap areas in their capacity to meet these new standards. The Cancer Psychosocial Care Matrix appears to enable evaluation of psychosocial programs, may promote intentions to improve psychosocial services, and can facilitate communication of ‘best practices’ among cancer centers.

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