The Clinical practice guidelines for the psychosocial care of adults with cancer (psychosocial CPGLs) developed in Australia and released in 2003, are widely regarded by health professionals, both nationally and internationally. The aim was to review the guidelines to identify and prioritise topics for updating to support ongoing evidence-based psychosocial care for people with cancer.
The psychosocial CPGLs were reviewed by Cancer Australia using a model based on engagement of key stakeholders including health professionals and consumers. A multidisciplinary Steering Committee undertook the review to identify and prioritise topics for updating, and consultation was also undertaken with a wider group of stakeholders. Topics were prioritised based on the criteria of whether there was new evidence that may change practice recommendations and clinical need.
Review of the psychosocial CPGLs identified two key topic areas for updating: (i) cancer suffering and spirituality issues and (ii) wellness including exercise, nutrition and fear of recurrence. Multidisciplinary working groups have been established for each topic to provide input to the systematic reviews being undertaken and to oversee the development of evidence-based topic-specific guidelines. The working groups are comprised of experts including health professionals, consumers, and representatives from professional colleges and endorsing bodies. This engagement model will assist in the promotion and uptake of the guidelines.
The 2003 psychosocial CPGLs have been reviewed for updating using a model that effectively engages key stakeholders, including health professionals, consumers, professional colleges and endorsing bodies. Two key topics have been prioritised for development of evidence-based guidelines: (i) cancer suffering and spirituality issues and (ii) wellness including exercise, nutrition and fear of recurrence. A clinical engagement model is essential to support the uptake of evidence-based practice, and thereby improve outcomes for people living with cancer.