Background: Cancer is a life-threatening disease which causes psychosocial and physical problems that may continue after primary treatment has been completed successfully. However, the current aftercare available does not sufficiently meet cancer survivors’ needs. Therefore, we developed an online tailored intervention, the ‘Kanker Nazorg Wijzer’ (Cancer Aftercare Guide; KNW). The primary goal of the KNW is to encourage self-management in cancer survivors, in order to help them to deal with psychosocial and lifestyle problems they encounter.*Methods: The content of the KNW was determined by the results of preliminary research, consisting of a literature study and focus group interviews and a survey among former cancer patient. Aim of this research was to investigate the most prominent information and support needs of former cancer patients and to gain insight in the psychosocial and lifestyle problems they experience. For the evaluation of the KNW, an RCT with follow-up measurements at 3, 6 and 12 months will be performed comparing the KNW intervention to a waiting list control group. In total, 750 adult cancer survivors will participate in the study. Results: The preliminary research results led to the development of eight modules in the KNW focussing on depression and anxiety, fatigue, return to work, social contacts and intimacy, physical complaints, physical activity, nutrition, and smoking. First, participants will be advised which modules fit their specific needs. Within a module, participants get tailored advice and practical assignments teaching them to cope better with the specific theme. Additionally, participants can get in contact with other cancer survivors through online discussion forums. The RCT will provide information on change of self-management and coping skills, lifestyle behaviours, and experienced quality of life and psychological distress. Conclusion: The KNW will be an easily accessible self-management intervention for cancer survivors. Since the KNW is based on computer tailoring, it has the potential to easily reach broad patient populations at low costs, while still providing specific information tailored to the personal needs of the user. Also, the KNW is consistent with the current guidelines, stating that self-management in cancer survivors should be stimulated. If the KNW cannot sufficiently meet the user’s needs, the user will be advised on where to get (more intensive) professional help. In this way, the KNW can serve as a starting point in stepped care. Research implications: The results of the RCT will provide information on the relationship between secondary outcomes such as coping, perceived social support, experienced fatigue, return to work and lifestyle behaviour on the primary outcomes quality of life and psychological distress. Additionally the research will provide information of the intervention elements, including tailored information and self-management training on the primary and secondary outcomes. **Clinical implications:** The development of the KNW intervention could lead to a theory- and evidence-based intervention aimed at improving QoL of cancer survivors by assisting them in self-care. The study results will demonstrate which people are at risk of developing psychosocial and lifestyle problems during their life after cancer. The KNW aims to support these patients by encouraging self-care through offering tailored information and support at an early stage.
|Number of pages||2|
|Early online date||13 Oct 2013|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2013|
|Event||IPOS 15th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology - Rotterdam, Netherlands|
Duration: 4 Nov 2013 → 8 Nov 2013
- Cancer survivorship
- Psychosocial oncology