User survey of a cancer telephone helpline and email service
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User survey of a cancer telephone helpline and email service

Martin Ledwick Head information nurse, Cancer Research UK, London

Martin Ledwick analyses the responses to postal and online questionnaires, which included feedback about the reasons patients seek information

Public policy emphasises the need for cancer patients to have access to information that will help them with choice and decision making. This article discusses the results of a postal survey for telephone users and an online survey for email users carried out to explore the main reasons people seek information from an independent voluntary sector cancer information helpline. Along with needing information to support decision making, respondents cited a fundamental need for information to help them understand their situation. All nurses have a responsibility to provide comprehensive information at every stage of the cancer pathway, regardless of whether patients are facing a choice or decision. Helpline nurses have a specific role to play as an independent, anonymous source of information.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 11, 4,33-36. doi: 10.7748/cnp2012.05.11.4.33.c9096

Correspondence

martin.ledwick@cancer.org.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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