A Research Study On Cancer Telephone Helplines

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Cancer telephone helplines have been in existence for nearly four decades and continue to gradually grow in popularity. Trained specialists are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions, provide information, and offer callers emotional support in order to help them cope with what they may be experiencing. These helplines are not only for cancer patients, but also for their caregivers, friends, family, or anyone with a general interest in learning about or discussing cancer with a specialist. The purpose of this literature review is to ascertain the types of information that has been examined in studies of cancer information telephone helplines. With the number of people affected by cancer steadily increasing, it is important that…show more content…
Although cancer information telephone helplines seem to have grown in popularity over the years, they are still not used frequently enough to provide accurate results for researchers. By conducting more research studies on how to improve helplines for users, additional information could be generated on how to achieve a higher rate of usage. A predominance of studies conducted on cancer telephone helplines have focused on the types of clients calling the cancer information helplines. Since cancer affects not only the patient who is diagnosed, it can be expected that an assortment of clients will be calling in. In a study done in the Netherlands on the Dutch Cancer Society, Reubsaet, Lechner, and De Vries (2006) found that cancer patients accounted for 39 percent of clients, relatives/friends of patients accounted for 35 percent of clients, and the general public account for 26 percent of clients who contacted the Dutch Cancer Society Hotline. With respect to age, the callers’ ages ranged anywhere from 20 to 85 years old. In terms of gender, 78 percent of callers were female. Education level was the final client characteristic to be analyzed. Approximately one-third of the callers had a higher level of education (college or university degree) and 36 percent reported receiving only a lower level of education such as primary school. It was also determined that the callers who were patients were significantly older than the
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