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Walk-In Homes

Communicating about living with cancer
Publication date: 01 January 2013

‘Walk-in homes’ are designed to help patients and their relatives communicate about the disease and about living with cancer. The aim of this research is to investigate how cancer patients are informed about and referred to the walk-in homes, their experiences there and how they evaluate these experiences.

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In our current sample, 513 cancer patients and their relatives (72% vs. 28%) filled out the questionnaire. Five percent of the visitors had been referred by general practitioners, 23% by psycho-oncology nurses, and 6% by medical specialists/oncologists. Most of the visitors (66%) had been informed by acquaintances, other visitors, events of the walk-in house, ads in local newspapers, or by searching on the internet. Visitors felt that visiting the walk-in house contributed to a better psychological balance in daily life. 77% reported they experienced reduced stress levels.

Two students of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Institute of Health Policy and Management) are involved in the research and are voluntarily working on a report of an international literature search on walk-in homes. Starting in April 2014, a health sciences student will perform exploratory research concerning the view of general practitioners and GP nurses on walk-in homes.

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