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A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the UK: who they are, the services offered and accessibility of those services

A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the UK: who they are, the services offered and accessibility of those services
A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the UK: who they are, the services offered and accessibility of those services
BACKGROUND: There are over 1500 UK health helplines in operation, yet we have scant knowledge about the resources in place to support the seeking and delivering of cancer-related telephone help and support. This research aimed to identify and describe cancer and cancer-related helpline service provision: the number of helplines available, the variety of services provided and accessibility of those services.

METHOD: Online national questionnaire survey sent to 95 cancer and cancer-related helplines in the UK RESULTS: 69 (73%) of 95 surveyed cancer and cancer-related helplines completed the survey. Most helplines/organisations were registered charities, supported by donations. 73.5% of helplines had national coverage. Most helplines served all age groups, ethnic groups, and men and women. Only 13.4% had a number that was free from landlines and most mobile networks and 56.6% could only be contacted during working hours. Over 50% of helplines reported no provisions for callers with additional needs. 55% had no clinical staff available to callers. Ongoing support and training for helpline staff was available but variable.

CONCLUSION: While cancer helplines in the UK offer reasonably broad coverage across the country, there are still potential barriers to accessibility. There are also opportunities to optimise the training of staff/volunteers across the sector. There are further prospects for helplines to enhance services and sustain appropriate and realistic quality standards.
1140-1146
Leydon, Gerry
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Stuart, Beth
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Danquah, Lisa
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Ekberg, Katie
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Brindle, Lucy
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Latter, Susan
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Moynihan, Clare
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Peter, Salmon
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Howe, Sonia
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Stokoe, Elizabeth
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Little, Paul
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Leydon, Gerry
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Stuart, Beth
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Danquah, Lisa
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Ekberg, Katie
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Brindle, Lucy
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Latter, Susan
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Moynihan, Clare
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Peter, Salmon
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Howe, Sonia
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Stokoe, Elizabeth
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Little, Paul
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Leydon, Gerry, Stuart, Beth, Danquah, Lisa, Ekberg, Katie, Brindle, Lucy, Latter, Susan, Moynihan, Clare, Peter, Salmon, Howe, Sonia, Stokoe, Elizabeth and Little, Paul (2016) A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the UK: who they are, the services offered and accessibility of those services. Psycho-Oncology, 26 (8), 1140-1146. (doi:10.1002/pon.4293). (PMID:27718527)

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: There are over 1500 UK health helplines in operation, yet we have scant knowledge about the resources in place to support the seeking and delivering of cancer-related telephone help and support. This research aimed to identify and describe cancer and cancer-related helpline service provision: the number of helplines available, the variety of services provided and accessibility of those services.

METHOD: Online national questionnaire survey sent to 95 cancer and cancer-related helplines in the UK RESULTS: 69 (73%) of 95 surveyed cancer and cancer-related helplines completed the survey. Most helplines/organisations were registered charities, supported by donations. 73.5% of helplines had national coverage. Most helplines served all age groups, ethnic groups, and men and women. Only 13.4% had a number that was free from landlines and most mobile networks and 56.6% could only be contacted during working hours. Over 50% of helplines reported no provisions for callers with additional needs. 55% had no clinical staff available to callers. Ongoing support and training for helpline staff was available but variable.

CONCLUSION: While cancer helplines in the UK offer reasonably broad coverage across the country, there are still potential barriers to accessibility. There are also opportunities to optimise the training of staff/volunteers across the sector. There are further prospects for helplines to enhance services and sustain appropriate and realistic quality standards.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 October 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 401721
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/401721
PURE UUID: 8717acf8-836b-44de-b4c3-55edd56b37a7
ORCID for Gerry Leydon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5986-3300
ORCID for Lucy Brindle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8933-3754
ORCID for Susan Latter: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0973-0512

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Oct 2016 12:41
Last modified: 24 Sep 2019 05:20

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