Ten-Year Mark Brings New Commitment to Patientsí CAM Information Needs
For the past decade, OCCAM has successfully worked to stimulate cancer CAM research by focusing much of its communication efforts on cancer researchers and CAM practitioners. For the next ten years, OCCAM has made a commitment to continue its progress in research while expanding its efforts in the area of patient outreach and communication. The goals outlined to address this commitment include positioning NCI as the authoritative and unbiased voice on the topic of cancer CAM. To meet this goal, OCCAM will produce additional resources for cancer patients that will fill in the existing information gaps and address cancer patients’ information needs.
In order to develop resources that will best serve the needs of patients, OCCAM will conduct a qualitative needs assessment to identify the CAM issues and topics most important to cancer patients. “We recognize the need for improved patient communication and information on cancer and CAM. The information collected in our assessment will help shape a dialogue about cancer patients’ needs related to CAM. It will also help us determine high priority areas for new patient-focused publications and resources.” said Dr. Jeffrey D. White, director of OCCAM.
To prepare for the needs assessment, OCCAM reviewed the following:
- existing information resources that NCI and other agencies offer on cancer CAM
- data from focus groups that addressed cancer patients and caregivers cancer CAM information needs
- literature published in peer-reviewed journals on cancer patients’ information-seeking behaviors
OCCAM’s qualitative needs assessment will target groups who work closely with patients including cancer patient educators, oncology social workers, nurses, and patient advocates. After analyzing the results, OCCAM hopes to work with representatives from these and other groups to produce resources that will meet the needs identified.
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