Primary content

Authors

J Holland

Aims

Investigate e-Health models of care that could provide a service that is currently not available for many rural clients, on identification and early self management principles for secondary lymphoedema following cancer treatment.

Method

Review of existing services and the potential incidence of secondary lymphoedema for the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNE LHD). A needs analysis was conducted via working party group consisting of staff and a patient representative and the “Listening Post” focus groups conducted by HNE LHD Cancer Network. Patients attending Calvary Mater Newcastle (CMN) from rural locations were surveyed to identify the early information they are given and the support within their local area.

Results

Lack of services outside Greater Newcastle was identified. Patients indicated very little knowledge obtained early on lymphoedema from their local area. Equipment was installed at CMN to enable the physiotherapy department to videoconference the Lymphodema Clinic to rural sites. A calendar of group sessions for rural sites was developed. Problems with establishing contacts at rural sites to co-ordinate the project has been the largest issue and still in progress.

Implications

Patients understanding and identifying the development of lymphoedema and having strategies to self manage the condition. Patients having the skills to understand when to seek further assistance when the condition is more easily managed. As a telehealth service this could be rolled out across the state.