Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 905–907 | Cite as

Evaluating supportive cancer care: are we missing an opportunity?

  • Marja Verhoef
  • Laura Weeks
  • Alison Brazier
  • Anne Leis



Cancer care can be described as a system or complex network of interventions delivered at various times and places with different intentions.

Cancer care as a system

Cancer care can include medical treatments, psychosocial care, complementary and alternative medicine, self-care, as well as the process of healing and the context in which care is delivered.

Evaluating cancer care

Whereas evaluating individual cancer treatments can be difficult, evaluating cancer care is even more challenging and requires a research framework that relies on methodologies capable of addressing its holistic, individualized, and complex nature.

In summary

We suggest that research frameworks focused on studying complex or whole systems are a promising evaluation approach and an opportunity for further exploration.


Cancer care Whole systems research Complex systems Research methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marja Verhoef
    • 1
  • Laura Weeks
    • 1
  • Alison Brazier
    • 2
  • Anne Leis
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Community Health & EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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