Demonstrating quality and outcomes in psycho-oncology

Psycho-oncology refers to the specialist field of psychological and mental health care for people affected by cancer. Psycho-oncology clinical services are offered by clinical and counselling psychologists as well as counsellors, liaison psychiatrists, psychotherapists and social workers.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) published their report ‘Demonstrating Quality and Outcomes in Psycho-Oncology’ in March 2015. It outlines a rigorous, multidimensional framework for evaluating quality and outcomes in psycho-oncology services.

A key challenge for psycho-oncology services is to develop and standardise procedures that address the clinical and operational aspects of quality, while maintaining a firm focus on the experiential. The challenge of combining rigorous and valid measurement with capturing the outcomes that patients value and prioritise must be considered.

The BPS report suggests that the following six domains are considered when evaluating quality and outcomes in a psycho-oncology service:

  • Is this service safe?

  • Is this service equitable, while also focused on those most in need?

  • Is this service timely and responsive?

  • Is this service respectful, collaborative and patient-centred?

  • Is this service offering effective interventions?

  • Is this service contributing to efficient multidisciplinary care?

To address these domains, psycho-oncology services are encouraged to gather and consider multiple, convergent sources of data, including:

  • Key performance indicators.

  • Activity levels.

  • Staff qualifications, accreditation and registration.

  • Quantitative patient self-report measures.

  • Qualitative patient feedback.

  • Feedback from professional colleagues.

  • Additional data sources.

Strive Clinic will offer a comprehensive outpatient Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Programme. Psycho-Oncology services will play a key role. In keeping with the recommendations of this report, Strive Clinic endeavours to ensure that patient satisfaction and experience data is continually fed into quality improvement processes. The service will also be shaped to allow ease and standardisation of the collection of clinical and operational data.

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