Institutional capacity to provide psychosocial care in cancer programs: Addressing barriers to delivering quality cancer care


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study investigates barriers and promoters to delivering quality psychosocial services in 58 cancer programs across North America. Oncology care providers (n = 2008) participated in a survey in which they identified barriers and promoters for delivering psychosocial care at their respective institutions. Multilevel modeling was used to examine (a) the extent to which provider and institutional characteristics were associated with the most common barriers, and (b) associations between perceived barriers and institutional capacity to deliver psychosocial services as measured by the Cancer Psychosocial Care Matrix. Across 58 Commission on Cancer‐accredited programs in North America, the most frequently reported barriers were inadequate number of psychosocial care personnel, lack of funding, inadequate amount of time, lack of systematic procedures, and inadequate training for oncology providers. Overall, there were few significant differences in reported barriers by type of institution or type of provider. In general, the most frequently reported barriers were significantly associated with the institution’s capacity to deliver quality psychosocial care. In particular, the lack of a systematic process for psychosocial care delivery significantly predicted lower levels of institutional capacity to deliver quality psychosocial care. When identifying barriers, respondents reported a greater number of institutional barriers than barriers related to individual provider or patient characteristics. These results present a compelling case for cancer programs to implement and monitor systematic procedures for psychosocial care and to integrate these procedures in routine clinical practice.

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