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CANCER CONNECT NEW ZEALAND: DESCRIPTION AND RETROSPECTIVE AUDIT

Rae Noble-Adams, RN, BSc (Hons), PhD Nursing, Cancer Nurse Researcher, Canterbury/West Coast Division of the Cancer Society of NZ

Noble-Adams, R. (2012). Cancer Connect New Zealand: Description and retrospective audit. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 28(3), 24-34.

Abstract

The Cancer Connect New Zealand (CCNZ) service is a free confidential telephone peer support programme, run by the Canterbury/West Coast Division of the Cancer Society of New Zealand (CSNZ). The programme links people affected by cancer to specially trained peer support volunteers (TPSV) who have been through similar cancer experiences. This service was started in 2005, and now more than 950 New Zealand non-metastatic cancer clients or their care-givers have been matched by qualified CCNZ coordinators. Clients accessed the service for various reasons, including support and advice on the practical, social, family or psychological impacts of their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

This paper reports a retrospective audit of the CCNZ service in which paper records of CCNZ matches were reviewed, assessed and described. The audit describes the number (n=156) and type of Cancer Connect matches made during the year July 2008-July 2009. During this period there was a 95% ‘on paper’ success in matching clients with TPSV. Information included covers: the client’s gender; age; cancer type; time from diagnosis; treatment; marital status; geographical region; and most importantly, their reason for referral. This audit was performed to record baseline demographic data of those using and providing the CCNZ service. This information not only offers insight into how the process of matching and usage is applied, it also adds to the literature on peer review support, and informs nurses working with non-metastatic cancer clients and their families where telephone peer support can be found. These results will also inform Part 2 - a prospective audit/research project to discover any gaps in the CCNZ service and to identify satisfaction, effectiveness and safety of the CCNZ service from the clients, TPSV and referrers perspectives (currently being completed).

Key Words: retrospective audit, Cancer Connect New Zealand, Cancer Society of New Zealand, trained peer support volunteer

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