|TIAB (Title and Abstract)|
Evaluation of an oncology outpatient orientation program: patient satisfaction and outcomes.
A person's first visit to an outpatient cancer center is typically marked by considerable stress and negative emotion. Thus, innovative support interventions that aim to ameliorate such stress and emotion are warranted. This study evaluated one such intervention--a new-patient orientation program in a cancer center. The program is designed to: (1) provide patients with information about the center's facilities and procedures, (2) give them an opportunity to ask questions and discuss personal concerns, (3) provide them with detailed information concerning support services available in both the community and the cancer center, and (4) provide them with access to a support care practitioner for follow-up contact. Following the orientation program, 213 participants completed a mailed questionnaire designed to measure their level of satisfaction with various aspects of the orientation program and the effect of the program on their emotional state. The results showed that participants were extremely satisfied with the program, it helped them deal more effectively with their first visit to the center, and it increased their feelings of relaxation and comfort and reduced their feelings of fear and anxiety. These results support the use of informational and support interventions as an effective means of improving cancer care.
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