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Conference Abstracts

Integrated care at a cancer centre through a programme of supportive alliances


Ana Rodríguez Cala ,

Barbara Zöller,

Noemí Durán,

Ana Chacón,

Ana Mª Baños


Introduction: The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) is a public centre working exclusively in the field of cancer. Its approach to the disease is comprehensive, combining, all in one organization, prevention, care, specialised training and research.

In recent years, we are witnessing a profound transformation in the provision of care and health care. This change is caused, on the one hand, by the demographic changes experienced by society, with a progressive ageing of the population. On the other hand, medical advances are making that, fortunately, some pathologies that until not so long ago were incurable have become chronic. Within this context, taking into account the sustainability of healthcare in general and of the ICO in particular to improve the quality of life of patients and their families without additional costs becomes a challenge that drives innovative and creative solutions.

Description: The programme "Living with Cancer" aims to promote community involvement in the implementation of measures of support and accompaniment to patients and families, which complement health services. It was conceived with the aim of generating social commitment and actions to improve the quality of life of patients and their caregivers and to help manage the disease during the cancer process, encouraging the participation of health, social and institutional agents to create synergies for collaboration and fundraising.

Currently the program has four axes: Friendly Hospital, Patients’ School, Support and welfare services and Alliances with society. It is implanted in the four centres ICO - L'Hospitalet, Badalona, Girona and Tarragona- and has a wide range of services and activities whose realization is only possible through partnerships and corporate sponsorships, since it does not have its own budget.

The programme "Living with cancer" increases interdisciplinary collaboration (nursing, medical team, psycho-oncology, social work, care for citizens) and can be easily replicated in other health centres, as has already been demonstrated through the experience of the ICO, where the programme has been implanted in the different centres of the institute.

It promotes cooperation and partnerships in the community environment to help and accompany the patient and family during the disease process and provides information and health education to the patient and family, in order that they may better know and understand the disease, monitor side effects and make the most appropriate decisions during the cancer process.

The programme is carried out from the transverse department of Strategy and Projects, but each project is led by a professional or clinician.

Key findings: Results 2012 - 2015 ICO L’Hospitalet and ICO Girona:

Project/ Services/ Beneficiaries

- Cultural mediation: 1323

- Welcome material: 36 593

- Rehabilitation material: 1336 (cloth balls and fabric cushions)

- Lymphedema Prevention Programme: 281

- Health education: 234

- Free legal service: 101

- Resources for a decent burial: 23

- Reiki: 1106

- Personal image workshop: 329

- 22 alliances and agreements with companies

- 5 with associations

The resources for a decent burial and free legal service are only offered at ICO L’Hospitalet, so do the reiki sessions

See also:

An example for patient experience: Marisol is the mother of Adrian, 23 years old, patient of the ICO that suffers from leukemia and has undergone a bone marrow transplant half a year ago. Adrian is undergoing treatment and may only carry out specific tasks for being an immune depressed person. Marisol has turned to the free legal counseling, offered by the Bar Association of Barcelona, to try to get 33% of incapacity for work instead of the 5% granted to his son. So far she has done 6 free consultations to lodge an appeal and, in case of being denied, file a complaint. Marisol would not have been able to afford civil and labor consultation and legal proceedings without Probono service included in the programme "Living with Cancer".

Highlights: The programme is an example of cooperation between public agencies, civil society and private bodies. It is all about creating new synergies and networks of solidarity between the hospital, the patients and their caregivers, civil society, the voluntary sector and all the relevant stakeholders and partners potentially involved in the global and human approach to the treatment of cancer.

In the near future we will add a new line of action: research in social medicine and we will take into account intangible indicators such as the increase of well-being and mood improvement.

Conclusión: The programme has given coverage and service to a large number of patients and their families, helping at those points where the Public Administration does not reach. Implanted in the ICO centres, the programme guides, accompanies, provides resources and empower patients and caregivers to take better decisions throughout the process of the disease.

How to Cite: Rodríguez Cala A, Zöller B, Durán N, Chacón A, Baños AM. Integrated care at a cancer centre through a programme of supportive alliances. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2016;16(6):A71. DOI:
Published on 16 Dec 2016.


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