PURPOSE: To evaluate the implementation of telephone consultations to assess cancer patients' needs for rehabilitation, with focus on patients' acceptance, health professionals' experience and contextual factors.
METHODS: A mixed methods process evaluation was conducted at a primary healthcare rehabilitation clinic. Cancer survivors above 18 years of age with an unclarified rehabilitation need at discharge from hospital, was offered a telephone consultation provided by health professionals. Data on implementation and acceptability were collected using medical records systems, data collection forms and semi-structured interviews with six patients and two health professionals.
RESULTS: Eighty-one cancer survivors were referred to the intervention, and 54% continued to further rehabilitation. The telephone consultations were executed approximately eight days after referral and took on average 44 min to deliver. Overall, the patients found that the telephone consultation addressed what they considered the most important topics, and the health professionals found the intervention to be acceptable. Both patients and health professionals reported challenges regarding the referral process.
CONCLUSION: Patient acceptance of the intervention was high, and the telephone consultation was implemented to a high degree, resulting in more than half of the patients continuing to further rehabilitation. Patients' and health professionals' perspectives provided valuable insights about contextual factors.