Boudioni, M., Mossman, J., Boulton, M., Ramirez, A., Moynihan, C. and Leydon, G.
An evaluation of a cancer counselling service
European Journal of Cancer Care, 9, (4), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2000.00233.x).
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The CancerBACUP London Counselling Service offered short-term face-to-face counselling to self-referred cancer patients and their relatives and friends, provided by experienced supervised counsellors working within a humanistic theoretical framework. This study aimed to identify its clients' characteristics, use of the service, extent of perceived benefits and satisfaction with the service. Socio-demographic data were collected in Data Sheets from all 384 clients who booked an appointment over 18 months; they were predominantly female, < 50 years old and from non-manual social classes. Significantly more people in those classes and in the 30–59 age group attended three or more sessions. Three hundred and nine clients who attended at least once were sent an Evaluation Form; 142 responded. The probability of the Evaluation Forms' return was greater for those who had completed more sessions; the great majority of respondents felt that they had benefited, and were satisfied with the service. This study, notwithstanding its limitations, shows that a short course of counselling may be perceived by clients to be helpful; it also raises other issues of value to those involved in cancer services and/or counselling provision.
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