What is the nature and the needs of prostate cancer support groups in Australia? (#591)
Background: At the last federal election funding was allocated to improve the existing prostate cancer support group network through the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). Specifically, funding was allocated to provide training and support for prostate cancer support group leaders. In order to do this effectively, more information is needed about the nature of these groups and their leaders. As such, the aim of this study is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the highly diversified community based prostate cancer support groups currently in existence in Australia and to examine the group leaders’ existing training and training needs.
Method: The study utilises a cross-sectional design and will be a nation-wide study including male and female leaders of prostate cancer support groups affiliated with the PCFA (currently 118 groups). A telephone interview will be conducted with the leader for each group, in order to assess each of the following factors: i) the organisational structure of the group, ii) practical features and modalities of the support group, iii) the aims of the group and the needs it sets out to address: e.g. social, psychological, practical, informational, advocacy, awareness, iv) degree of integration with the health system or with voluntary organisations, and any funding or support provided, v) existing levels of group leader training and vi) willingness to take part in future research or training for prostate cancer support groups affiliated with the PCFA. Interviews will be digitally recorded.
Results: to be presented at the conference.
Conclusion: Detailed mapping of the nature of the groups will be the first step in the development of targeted resources and skills training provision. Results will also provide the framework to target and encourage the evidence based growth of new groups.