Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 293–301 | Cite as

Cancer supportive care, improving the quality of life for cancer patients. A program evaluation report

  • Ernest Rosenbaum
  • Holly Gautier
  • Pat Fobair
  • Eric Neri
  • Bernadette Festa
  • Margaret Hawn
  • Alexandra Andrews
  • Nama Hirshberger
  • Sabrina Selim
  • David Spiegel
Original Article


Goals of work

As medical care for cancer has become more specialized in diagnosis, treatment has become more technical and fragmented. In order to help cancer patients and their families, we developed a coordinated program called the Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program (SCSCP) at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. The Stanford Cancer Supportive Care Program was initiated in 1999 to provide support for cancer patients, addressing the need for improved physical and emotional well-being and quality of life. This paper is a program evaluation report.

Patients and methods

The number of patient visits grew from 421 in 1999 to 6319 in 2002. This paper describes the utilization of the SCSCP program as assessed by 398 patient visit evaluations during a 9-week period, January 2002 to March 2002. During this time we collected attendance records with demographic data and anonymous questionnaires evaluating each program. Patients were asked to evaluate how the program helped them regarding increase of energy, reduction in stress, restful sleep, pain reduction, sense of hopefulness, and empowerment.

Main results

Over 90% of the patients using the SCSCP felt there was benefit to the program. Programs were chosen based on a needs assessment by oncologists, nurse managers, social workers, and patients. Massage, yoga, and qigong classes had the highest number of participants. Qualitative data showed benefit for each program offered.


This evaluation of a free cancer supportive care program initiated in a hospital outpatient setting provides initial evidence of patient satisfaction and improvement in quality of life.


Cancer Supportive care Physical Emotional Quality of Life 



We greatly appreciate the contributions to this paper made by Jean Chan and Louise Maffitt for graphical, statistical, and editorial support. We wish to acknowledge the physicians who participated in and encouraged the development of the SCSCP as well as the many patients who encouraged our efforts. We also wish to acknowledge our many generous supportive donors who wish to remain anonymous, Adventis Oncology, and OrthoBiotech for funding the SCSCP.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Rosenbaum
    • 1
  • Holly Gautier
    • 1
  • Pat Fobair
    • 1
  • Eric Neri
    • 1
  • Bernadette Festa
    • 1
  • Margaret Hawn
    • 1
  • Alexandra Andrews
    • 2
  • Nama Hirshberger
    • 2
  • Sabrina Selim
    • 3
  • David Spiegel
    • 4
  1. 1.Stanford Cancer Supportive Care ProgramStanford Hospital and ClinicsStanfordUSA
  2. 2.BerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Dartmouth University Medical SchoolHanoverUSA
  4. 4.Stanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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