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Title: A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the United Kingdom: Who they are, the services offered, and the accessibility of those services
Authors: Leydon, Geraldine M.
Stuart, Beth
Danquah, Lisa
Ekberg, Katie
Brindle, Lucy
Latter, Sue
Moynihan, Clare
Salmon, Peter
Howe, Sonia
Stokoe, Elizabeth
Little, Paul
Keywords: Cancer
Cancer information
Cancer support
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © The Authors. Published by Wiley
Citation: LEYDON, G.M. ...et al., 2016. A descriptive survey of cancer helplines in the United Kingdom: Who they are, the services offered, and the accessibility of those services. Psycho-Oncology, In Press.
Abstract: Abstract Background There are more than 1500 UK health helplines in operation, yet we have scant knowledge about the resources in place to support the seeking and delivering of cancer‐related telephone help and support. This research aimed to identify and describe cancer and cancerrelated helpline service provision: the number of helplines available, the variety of services provided, and the accessibility of those services. Method This study used online national questionnaire survey sent to 95 cancer and cancerrelated helplines in the United Kingdom. Results A total of 69 (73%) of 95 surveyed cancer and cancer‐related helplines completed the survey. Most helplines/organizations were registered charities, supported by donations; 73.5% of helplines had national coverage. Most helplines served all age‐groups, ethnic groups, and men and women. Only 13.4% had a number that was free from landlines and most mobile networks, and 56.6% could only be contacted during working hours. More than 50% of helplines reported no provisions for callers with additional needs, and 55% had no clinical staff available to callers. Ongoing support and training for helpline staff was available but variable. Conclusion Although cancer helplines in the United Kingdom offer reasonably broad coverage across the country, there are still potential barriers to accessibility. There are also opportunities to optimize the training of staff/volunteers across the sector. There are further prospects for helplines to enhance services and sustain appropriate and realistic quality standards.
Description: This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1002/pon.4293
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/23439
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.4293
ISSN: 1057-9249
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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