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One-to-one volunteer support programs for people with cancer: a review of the literature

Version 2 2024-06-04, 11:09
Version 1 2017-05-17, 13:40
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 11:09 authored by ML Macvean, Vicki WhiteVicki White, R Sanson-Fisher
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review of literature reporting on the use of volunteers in support programs for people with cancer. METHODS: PsycINFO, Medline and CINAHL were used to identify papers published up to April 2007 reporting one-to-one support programs using volunteers. Program data were extracted from the papers, which were rated on research quality and descriptions of the program, volunteers and support recipients. RESULTS: Twenty-eight papers were reviewed. Nineteen (69%) reported peer-support programs, with four (14%) pertaining to the Reach to Recovery program for women with breast cancer, and eight (28%) describing other peer-support programs for women with breast cancer. Few papers described the programs sufficiently to enable a good understanding of support recipients, volunteers, and what transpired between volunteers and support recipients. Twenty papers (71%) were research studies: 10 (36%) with one group descriptive data, 6 (21%) were non-randomized comparative studies and 4 (14%) were randomized controlled trials. CONCLUSION: While most papers reported that programs were beneficial, few presented data from studies using rigorous research methodologies to support these claims. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Using volunteers in cancer care may have merits; however, papers need to provide more information regarding these programs and further evidence is required to determine their effectiveness.

History

Journal

Patient education and counseling

Volume

70

Pagination

10-24

Location

Shannon, Ireland

ISSN

0738-3991

eISSN

1873-5134

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Elsevier

Issue

1

Publisher

Elsevier

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