Systematic reviews are wonderful things. They are what they say they are – they review all the research published to date about a specific topic in a systematic way. The outcome is a base line of what the research says about that topic. A recently published topic review looks at the support systems of newly diagnosed brain cancer patients. In this article we look at the findings of this systematic review of brain tumour support, and consider what this means for the brainstrust community.
Why does this review matter?
We know that a brain tumour diagnosis, regardless of whether it is non-malignant or malignant, tears the very weft and weave of your life apart. It skews relationships, impacts on quality of life, and there is sense of bereavement as the life you had is not the same as the life you need to develop. Often support systems kick into place later on the brain tumour pathway; this is too late. Instead of being proactive you end up being reactive, ending up in a place where the tumour diagnosis is defining you, rather than you defining the diagnosis. Getting the right support from the very start of your journey is central to your ability to live the best life you can with your diagnosis.
What are the findings?
Highlights from this review include:
- An emphasis on the need to start support early to maximise care
- The importance of individualised care and the way information is communicated
- Patients may decline some support services as they don’t think their symptoms can be improved
- Question prompt lists are good
- A four step recommendation plan for health services
What does this mean for brainstrust?
Well, it tells us that our person-centred approach through coaching and asking more questions than we answer is the right one. It tells us that we need to work harder helping people to understand that support can improve symptom control, and it gives us a model to bring change to service delivery.
To read the systematic review in full, click here.
You can read more about brainstrust’s work on systematic reviews here.
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If you or someone you love is living with a brain tumour and have any questions around this latest news, or want to access support, give us a call on 01983 292 405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our little brainstrust website which features support for children affected by brain tumour.