197804 Assessing the utility of an alternative therapeutic wellness center offering psychosocial services for cancer in the greater New Haven Connecticut region

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Carly Leggett, MPH Candidate , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Brian Merry, MPH Candidate , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Nicole Mayard, MPH Candidate , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Marisa Spann, PhD , Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Nkem Okafor, MPH Candidate , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Abstract: The NIH recognizes that cancer care often fails to meet individuals' psychosocial health needs. The Wellness Community is a non-profit organization providing no cost mind-body therapeutic support and education to those affected by cancer nationally and abroad. This project aims to assess current therapeutic services and their utilization as well as establish a Wellness Center within the greater New Haven area. Connecticut has the 12th highest overall cancer incidence in the country yet the closest Wellness Center is three hours from this region's primary treatment center. A site that promotes holistic support for those dealing with cancer is needed closer to this medical facility. Hypothesis: The services available in this region provide optimal medical treatment and brief consultation for psychosocial support, without addressing the psychosocial needs of patients or offering free and accessible long-term psychological and physical health therapies. Methods: A three-phase methodology is being implemented to investigate community needs. The completed first phase consisted of a mixed model (quantitative-qualitative) feasibility analysis of community demographics, incidence and common cancers, as well as current available resources. The second and third phases are underway and consist of conducting key-informant interviews with CT-based cancer organizations and stakeholders, and focus groups with cancer survivors to assess the community's current supports, needs, and service utilization. Preliminary data analysis has shown that existing services providing therapeutic support are limited to specific cancer types and therapies. This project will provide a summary report of the feasibility and needs assessment, which will facilitate the development of a Wellness Center in this community.

Learning Objectives:
Assess the alternative therapeutic services of the greater New Haven area in the state of Connecticut 1. Identify the current therapeutic services available, information that will allow the Wellness Community team to establish service collaborations with other organizations that overlap with their goals and mission. 2. Describe the basic demographics and therapeutic needs of the community to enable the developing organization to tailor their therapeutic services to meet the needs of the community. 3. Assess the communitiesí interest and openness to this facility to help determine ways to advertise and convey the benefits of the Wellness Community.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Qualifications as presenter: 1) Masters of Public Health Candidate 2010, Social and Behavioural Sciences/Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale Univeristy 2) Cancer Care Manitoba, Risk Factor Surveillance and Project Manager 2006-2008
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.