Taiwan tests family-centered cancer care in seven hospitals

Taiwan tests family-centered cancer care in seven hospitals (Shutterstock)
Taiwan tests family-centered cancer care in seven hospitals (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (TVBS News)—The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare will subsidize seven hospitals to pilot a family-centered cancer care model. The model, which involves a team of psychologists, social workers, and other professionals, provides community resource assessment and counseling.

In Taiwan, approximately 120,000 new cancer patients are reported annually, making cancer the leading cause of death for 42 consecutive years. However, HPA Director-General Wu Chao-chun (吳昭軍) noted a significant improvement in the five-year survival rate of cancer patients, which rose from 49.2% between 2002 and 2006 to 62.1% between 2017 and 2021.

HPA Cancer Prevention and Control Division head Lin Li-ju (林莉茹) emphasized the psychological impact on patients and their families upon a cancer diagnosis. She stated that the condition at the time of cancer diagnosis, such as age, role, and status in the family, can have different psychological effects on patients and their families. She added that psychological intervention and support after diagnosis are crucial, and care models should be developed based on different types of cancer and hospital characteristics.

The HPA launched a family-centered care model this year, targeting families with members diagnosed with cancer within a year. The medical team, comprising psychologists, social workers, medical personnel, and case managers, will intervene in outpatient, inpatient, and community settings. The goal is to treat physical ailments while addressing the psychological needs of cancer patients and strengthening family support, allowing patients to focus on their treatment without worries.

The seven hospitals receiving subsidies this year are Mackay Memorial Hospital (馬偕紀念醫院), Far Eastern Memorial Hospital (亞東醫院), Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital (羅東博愛醫院), Kuang Tien General Hospital (光田綜合醫院), Changhua Christian Hospital (彰化基督教醫院), National Cheng Kung University Hospital (國立成功大學醫學院附設醫院), and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital (高雄榮民總醫院). These hospitals cover various types of cancer, including breast, head and neck, colorectal, gynecological, lung, and pediatric cancers.

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