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Nicola Mucci, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle

Dissertation Committee

Jude Bergkamp, Psy.D., Committee Chair

Tricia Teneycke, Psy.D., Committee Member

Kathryn Johnson, Ph.D., Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

On average, regardless of other factors, persons affected by cancer will experience some level of distress associated with the disease and its sequelae. Left untreated, psychosocial problems can, and often do, adversely affect a person's health and healthcare treatment. As a result, national initiatives have been implemented to recognize and treat psychosocial stressors to optimize a person's functioning and facilitate successful movement through the medical system. A program evaluation was conducted to examine how Providence Regional Cancer Partnership has addressed the psychosocial needs of its patient population. Specifically, the psychosocial services department, Patient Support Services, was evaluated to understand how program services were (a) utilized and represented across patient demographics and (b) valued or regarded within the larger cancer treatment center. Archival data was gathered from electronic health records to determine how program services were utilized and by whom. Two surveys were designed and distributed to understand the experiences and opinions of program services. Evaluation findings clarified areas of strength and identified areas of improvement. Program strengths provided insight into services that were well utilized and most valued and affirm the program’s mission to reach a broad patient population and provide services to patients in high need. Utilization of program services indicated two areas of underrepresentation (gender and cancer diversity) and one area of underutilization (support groups). Areas of program dissatisfaction identified by patients and staff were categorized into three themes: education and outreach; program services and access; and Patient Support Services staffing. Recommendations were developed with input from Patient Support Services and presented to stakeholders and program administrators to make informed decisions about desired program changes. In general, evaluation findings provided efficacy of program services and support for the merit of psychosocial services within a cancer treatment facility.

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Nicola Mucci, Psy.D., 2016.

ORCID Scholar # 0000-0003-3157-443X