The Irish Cancer Society is committed to monitoring the impact of our Cancer Information Services (CIS) at 4 key stages (prevention, support, survivorship and palliative) to demonstrate the positive changes our services bring to the people affected by cancer. CIS incorporates Cancer Nurseline (freephone cancer helpline) and Daffodil Centres (walkin cancer information and support centres) based in cancer centres. Both are staffed by specialist cancer nurses. CIS provides support, advice and information to anyone affected by cancer. The information provided is tailored to the needs of each individual enquirer giving them greater access to cancer support and information which complements the service provided by the clinical teams in hospitals or in the community. In 2018 there were 47371 contacts to the service.
Impact Monitoring uses surveys (paper and online) to collect information from service users. The nurses recruited cancer support enquirers over a two month period during September and October 2018. An enquirers’ distress level was assessed (using distress screening) by the nurse to determine if they were suitable to take part in the survey. Consent was obtained from participants across all services. Returned surveys were entered into a database and analysed according to themes and patterns. All respondents were anonymous.
CIS had many positive impacts. Enquirers to the service appreciated the opportunity to access information from a healthcare professional either by phone or within a Daffodil Centre. During analysis some of the main benefits of the service identified include • Increased knowledge of cancer and its symptoms • More supported and aware of emotional supports • More in control • Reduced anxiety. Accurate and reliable information from a CIS healthcare professional offered reassurance to patients.
Having access to a cancer nurse through the CIS gave cancer patients the opportunity to avail of support, information and advice as and when they needed it. Enquirers felt they could talk through their questions and concerns, with the nurse providing information and guidance which reassured them. Talking to a nurse helped people feel more supported, more knowledgeable about their cancer and hopeful about the future.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.