The Dutch cancer information helpline: more critical patients after 10 years.
ABSTRACT This study was conducted to assess the impact and evaluation of the Dutch national cancer information helpline and to assess differences in evaluation and impact with a comparable study conducted in 1994.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among all callers from the target groups patients, friends/relatives and the general public who contacted the information helpline from December 2003 until March 2004 (response 59%; N=665).
All characteristics of the helpline (provided information, educator's communication skills, and telephone aspects) were evaluated positively by a large majority of the respondents. All groups evaluated the impact of the helpline on overall satisfaction, anxiety, and meeting expectations positively. However, the three target groups showed different predictors for the outcome measures.
It can be concluded that 10 years after the first study, callers are still very positive in their evaluation. However, the different characteristics of the helpline are nowadays slightly more negatively judged, particularly by patients. The installation of the voice response system (VRS) as well as the fact that people have more easily access to information about their disease might account for these differences in evaluation.
To maintain the positive evaluations helpline educators as well as the VRS need to attune more to the different needs and problems of the target groups and provide tailored information.
Article: Evaluation of the Dutch AIDS STI information helpline: differential outcomes of telephone versus online counseling.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Health information helplines have an important function in health education, prevention and counseling. Information and help services are increasingly provided online. This study focuses on the differences and similarities between online help services and telephone services. The telephone service of the Dutch AIDS STI helpline was compared to its e-mail equivalent. After consulting the helpline service, both callers and e-mailers (N(tot) = 455) were asked to participate in a survey that evaluated their background characteristics, contacting reasons, and satisfaction with the specific service and information received. The survey also included questions regarding the advice received from the helpline. A follow-up measure 4 weeks after the baseline survey evaluated to what extent clients acted upon the advice. The study shows that both services are positively evaluated and are equally persuasive in their counseling. Differences between callers and e-mailers were found regarding background characteristics, content of the consultation, satisfaction, and the advice received. It can be concluded that online health information services are an important addition to, but not a replacement for, the traditional telephone helplines. In order to provide an optimal health service to a wide public, both online and telephone counseling should be offered.Patient Education and Counseling 05/2012; 88(2):218-23. · 2.31 Impact Factor
Article: Perceived need for mental health care and barriers to care in the Netherlands and Australia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study of Australian and Dutch people with anxiety or depressive disorder aims to examine people's perceived needs and barriers to care, and to identify possible similarities and differences. Data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being and the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety were combined into one data set. The Perceived Need for Care Questionnaire was taken in both studies. Logistic regression analyses were performed to check if similarities or differences between Australia and the Netherlands could be observed. In both countries, a large proportion had unfulfilled needs and self-reliance was the most frequently named barrier to receive care. People from the Australian sample (N = 372) were more likely to perceive a need for medication (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.3-2.5), counselling (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.0-2.0) and practical support (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.7), and people's overall needs in Australia were more often fully met compared with those of the Dutch sample (N = 610). Australians were more often pessimistic about the helpfulness of medication (OR 3.8; 95% CI 1.4-10.7) and skills training (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.1-8.2) and reported more often financial barriers for not having received (enough) information (OR 2.4; 95% CI 1.1-5.5) or counselling (OR 5.9; 95% CI 2.9-11.9). In both countries, the vast majority of mental health care needs are not fulfilled. Solutions could be found in improving professionals' skills or better collaboration. Possible explanations for the found differences in perceived need and barriers to care are discussed; these illustrate the value of examining perceived need across nations and suggest substantial commonalities of experience across the two countries.Social Psychiatry 10/2011; 46(10):1033-44. · 2.05 Impact Factor