Demographic characteristics of patients using a fully integrated psychosocial support service for cancer patients

Donald M. Sharp, Mary B. Walker, Julie S. Bateman, Fiona Braid, Claire Hebblewhite, Teresa Hope, Michael Lines, Andrew A. Walker, Leslie G. Walker

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    Psychosocial support services are an important component of modern cancer treatment. A major challenge for all psychosocial services is the achievement of equity of use. Previous studies in the UK have found that women of higher socio-economic status with breast cancer were over-represented amongst those accessing support services. People with other cancer diagnoses, those from socio-economically deprived areas, and men, were under-represented.

    The Oncology Health Service, Kingston Upon Hull, UK, delivers fully integrated psychosocial support and interventions. To assess equity of access in this service, a cross-sectional study of all patients with cancer accessing the service during a 5 day period was carried out. One hundred and forty-five patients attended. Forty four percent were male, and the types of cancer were broadly in the proportions expected on the basis of population prevalence (breast cancer 22%, colorectal cancer 21%, lung cancer 16%). Sixty six percent came from the three most deprived quintiles of the Townsend deprivation Index.

    The fully integrated Oncology Health Service in Hull is accessed by a more diverse range of patients than previously reported for other services, and is an example of a model of service by which socially equitable use of psychosocial support in the National Health Service might be achieved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number253
    JournalBMC Research Notes
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2009

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