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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 194-200

Structure, process, and impact of a staff support group in an oncology setting in a developing country

1 Palliative Medicine and Psychiatric Unit, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Psychiatric Unit, Tata Memorial Hospital, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jayita Kedar Deodhar
Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. E. Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_59_16

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Background: Health-care staff working in oncology setting experience excessive stress, which if unrelieved can lead to burnout. Staff support groups have been found beneficial. Aims: This study aims to evaluate the structure, process, and impact of a staff support group conducted for field workers involved in cancer screening in an urban tertiary cancer center in a developing country. Settings and Design: Retrospective analysis of staff support group conducted in a tertiary care cancer center. Methodology: Prospectively maintained data with structured notes for documenting the process of the support group sessions for the field workers was analyzed. Impact was analyzed through a feedback questionnaire designed for the purpose completed by participants at 4 months, 1, and 2 years following session completion. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics for reporting the overall structure and participants' profile and content analysis for identifying the support group process and themes expressed by the participants were used. Results: Eleven participants attended the support group consisting of 8 structured sessions. The processes identified were planning, implementation, and supervision of the lead therapist conducting the group. Work overload, target completion, feeling demoralized, interpersonal conflicts, and importance of team support were the main issues identified. Cognitive behavioral approaches were learnt for stress management. Eight, nine, and all 11 participants found the support group moderately to very useful at 4 months, 1 year, and 2 years, respectively. Conclusions: The support group followed a planned structure, with good implementation, recording of content and supervision, with both short-term and sustained positive impact.

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