There is strong scientific evidence supporting the use of recently developed interventions to help patients cope with cancer. However, as documented in the literature, there are yet to be adequate standards for these programs. The proposed training program will begin to bridge the gap between what is, lack of organized and well coordinated interdisciplinary services, and what can be, a clearly established infrastructure for comprehensive supportive care programs resulting in patient-centered excellence. However, there is a dearth of health care professionals with the knowledge, skills and expertise in leading such complex programs. The proposed R-25E will bring together 16 faculty members with internationally recognized track records in building and overseeing successful supportive care programs to conduct a series of ten 3-day workshops for a total of approximately 500 cancer health care professionals. Physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, health educators and business administrators will be competitively selected to participate in a unique ongoing program of continuing education that has been shown to be effective in actually changing professional practice. The workshops will be carried out twice yearly for five years, and will be offered alternately at the City of Hope and the Mount Sinai Medical Center. The goal of the workshop is for trainees to understand and be able to enhance all aspects of comprehensive supportive care program development. Guided by the small-group learning model and by the by Grol et al's Institutional Change Model, faculty will discuss topics that are critical to building r improving a new or existing supportive care programs. The short- and long-term impacts of the program will be evaluated in terms of the knowledge and skills gained by trainees, and the development or growth of supportive care programs at the trainees' home institutions. Overall Goals: 1. To apply a curriculum to create, refine, implement and evaluate high-quality new or existing comprehensive supportive care programs by conducting training workshops for health care and administrative professionals; 2. To support ongoing training and provide networking opportunities for trainees by conducting six, monthly, faculty-trainee telephone conference-calls following each workshop, and by providing trainees and faculty with access to an online discussion board during the tenure of the program and for one year afterwards; and 3. To assess the short- and long-term effectiveness of the training program at multiple levels for 24 months following each workshop by evaluating: a) quality of curriculum content; b) trainee knowledge, self-efficacy, satisfaction, and implementation of specific skills acquired through the program; and c) trainees' enhancements to, or development of, effective programmatic supportive care efforts at their respective institutions (i.e., institutional uptake, increased stafing, increased clinical or office space, MD/RN satisfaction, budget growth).
Cancer is a serious illness that causes some degree of emotional upset and practical problems in all cancer patients as well as in those people who care about them. Although there are qualified professionals in most cancer centers to assist cancer patients and their loved ones, these supportive care services are commonly not well organized or coordinated. This proposal brings together many of most recognized experts in cancer care to teach health care and administrative professionals how to best organize, evaluate and improve programs that focus on being patient-friendly while maximizing the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.