Monash Health’s Breast Care Unit first started a Moving Ahead Program in 2002 and continues today in 2016.
It is well recognized in literature the benefits that survivorship programs have on cancer survivors. We offer our program twice a year for eligible women by aiming to provide a supportive environment to share experiences, address ongoing issues, increase knowledge of community supports and promote Shared Care with the GP- to transition patients to a wellness model.
The groups are co facilitated with a Breast Care Nurse and Unit Social Worker. The program runs for 4 or 6 weeks (2 hours per week) and topics include Reflections on diagnosis and treatment, Personal reactions, Communication, Self-Care and Wellbeing and Community supports.
An informal group setting provides a safe forum to address issues that have resulted from being diagnosed with breast cancer that may include fears, sadness, anxiety, ongoing physical concerns, family and relationship changes and to help provide strategies to assist participants.
These concerns such as “…fears, sadness and loneliness that survivors experience, the disparity in perception between the survivor and their family, ongoing physical issues, changes in identity, role function and relationship changes…” (1) are also common themes identified in the group.
The poster will outline the process involved in facilitating the program, including background, group structure, session topics, why women attend, demographics and outcomes.