Telephone counseling in psychosocial oncology: A report from the Cancer Information and Counseling Line

AMC Cancer Research Center, 1600 Pierce Street, Denver, CO 80214, USA.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.2). 05/2002; 46(4):267-75. DOI: 10.1016/S0738-3991(01)00163-X
Source: PubMed


Providing psychosocial counseling services to cancer patients and their significant others by telephone is emerging as an alternative to traditional (in-person) counseling programs in psychooncology. In this paper, data are reported describing the clients of such a program that has been in continuous operation since 1981: the Cancer Information and Counseling Line (CICL) of the AMC Cancer Research Center. An examination of call record forms completed between 1 June 1998 and 30 May 1999 (N = 1627) revealed that the vast majority of callers were female (77%), non-Hispanic White (77%), with at least some college education (62%). Only 27% were cancer patients/survivors, compared to 43% who were spouses, other relatives and friends of cancer patients/survivors, and 16% who were symptomatic callers. Breast cancer was by far the most frequently mentioned cancer site (30%). Although initial topics of inquiry were dominated by requests for medical information (77%), with only a small percentage of callers initially requesting psychosocial support and counseling (12%), by the time, the call was completed, 67% had received some form of psychosocial support and/or counseling. Recommendations for future research are discussed within the context of this review.

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    • "The telephone counseling program was delivered by two masters-level psychosocial oncology counselors affiliated with the nationally recognized UCCC Cancer Information and Counseling Line (CICL) [9]. C-STEPS was a three to six session program delivered in two modules over a three month period. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To develop a feasibility study of a theory-driven telephone counseling program to enhance psychosocial and physical well-being for cancer survivors after treatment. Methods: Participants (n=66) were recruited from two Colorado hospitals with self-administered questionnaires at baseline and two weeks post-intervention. The one group, intervention only design included up to six thematic telephone counseling sessions over three months. Topics included nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and medical follow-up. Primary outcomes were cancer-specific distress, self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Results: Of 66 subjects, 46 completed at least one counseling module and the follow-up assessment (70% retention rate). Mean satisfaction was 9 out of 10, and all participants would recommend C-STEPS to other survivors. Cancer-specific distress (Impact of Event Scale - Intrusion subscale) decreased for entire study population (p<0.001) and stress management session participants (p<0.001). Fruit and vegetable consumption increased for nutrition and exercise session participants (p=0.02) and the entire sample (p=NS). Physical activity increased in the entire group (p=0.006) and for nutrition and exercise session participants (p=0.01). Conclusion and practice implications: C-STEPS is a feasible telephone counseling program that transcends geographic barriers, demonstrating the potential to decrease distress and promote coping and healthy lifestyles among cancer survivors.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Patient Education and Counseling
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    • "During the period when the CIS contact centers recruited participants, the callback intervention was conducted by CIS information specialists. When the CISRC call center was activated, the callback intervention was transferred to counseling staff of the Cancer Information and Counseling Line (Marcus et al., 2002). Standard NCI print materials used in Project 3 are " Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment " and " What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer. "
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    ABSTRACT: The authors describe 3 large randomized trials from the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium. Three web-based multimedia programs are being tested to help newly diagnosed prostate (Project 1) and breast cancer patients (Project 2) make informed treatment decisions and breast cancer patients prepare for life after treatment (Project 3). Project 3 also tests a telephone callback intervention delivered by a cancer information specialist. All participants receive standard print material specific to each project. Preliminary results from the 2-month follow-up interviews are reported for the initial wave of enrolled participants, most of whom were recruited from the Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) telephone information program (Project 1:n = 208; Project 2: n = 340; Project 3: n = 792). Self-reported use of the multimedia program was 51%, 52%, and 67% for Projects 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Self-reported use of the print materials (read all, most, or some) was 90%, 85%, and 83% for Projects 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The callback intervention was completed by 92% of Project 3 participants. Among those using the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium interventions, perceived usefulness and benefit was high, and more than 90% reported that they would recommend them to other cancer patients. The authors present 5 initial lessons learned that may help inform future cancer communications research.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of Health Communication
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    • "This call reflects a move away from a one size fits all approach to using a theoretical perspective to examine intervention benefit. Telephone delivered interventions are an increasingly common component of psychosocial oncology practice (Marcus et al., 2002; Secura, Budin, & Garfing, 2004). As part of a larger behavioural clinical trial, we developed two telephonedelivered psychosocial interventions (health education and interpersonal counselling) that were designed to target the psychological distress and informational needs of prostate cancer survivors (PCS) and their family members and friends. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: We examined selected survivor characteristics to determine what factors might moderate the response to two psychosocial interventions. Design: Seventy-one prostate cancer survivors (PCSs) were randomly assigned to either a telephone-delivered health education (THE) intervention or a telephone-delivered interpersonal counselling (TIP-C) intervention. Measures: Psychological quality of life (QOL) outcomes included depression, negative and positive affect, and perceived stress. Results: For three of the psychological outcomes (depression, negative affect and stress), there were distinct advantages from participating in THE. For example, more favourable depression outcomes occurred when men were older, had lower prostate specific functioning, were in active chemotherapy, had lower social support from friends and lower cancer knowledge. Participating in the TIP-C provided a more favourable outcome for positive affect when men had higher education, prostate specific functioning, social support from friends and cancer knowledge. Conclusion: Unique survivor characteristics must be considered when recommending interventions that might improve psychological QOL in PCSs. Future research must examine who benefits most and from what components of psychosocial interventions to enable clinicians to recommend appropriate psychosocial care.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Psychology & Health
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