Cancer related fatigue – Innovative ways of supporting health care professionals (HCPs) and patients

Jackie Pottle

Background to the Project

Cancer related fatigue (CRF) affects between 65-90% of people who have or have had cancer (Bower, 2014, Fabi et al 2020). It Is commonly associated with cancer and its treatments and adds to the difficulties of trying to cope with cancer, with over two thirds describing symptoms as severe for at least 6 months.  One third of patients report persistent fatigue for many years post treatment

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) Holistic Needs Assessment summaries for 2019-2021 support the importance and impact on Quality of life across all tumour sites. Co- production with patients via North Cancer Patient Forum supported the need for innovative ways of supporting within the constraints of Covid.

The Project

The aim of the project is for collaboration between occupational therapy (OT) and psychology to provide a range of support options for patients affected by CRF within BCUHB and to support HCPs to have easy access to evidence based resources, thus reaching as many patients and HCPs across BCUHB as possible.

How will this be achieved

  • BCUHB HCP survey to establish levels of knowledge and levels of support needed
  • Review of literature and guidelines to establish best practice
  • Development of SharePoint site to collate evidence and provide easily accessible resources and self- management information for HCPs
  • Develop range of support mechanisms for patients – t/c support/ stand- alone education sessions and remote interactive video group clinics / face to face sessions when applicable
  • Education sessions to share information and resources with HCPs

Outcome measures will be collected: –

  • Patients – number of t/c contact / attendance at VGC – use of fatigue /quality of life measure and PROM pre/post attendance /3 months post attendance scores
  • HCP – data from access and use of SharePoint site
  • Attendance at Education sessions
  • Qualitative feedback

Anticipated benefits

  • Increased resources for HCPs and patients to inform decision making
  • Improved self management and self monitoring
  • Improved patient experience
  • Improved wellbeing and quality of life through improved health literature and advice