Put his experience to the benefit of others

Mettre son vécu au profit des autres

SHAWINIGAN — in Order to support women with breast cancer, the Hospital of the Centre-de-la-Mauricie, through its oncology department, has carried out the implementation of any new project Word-Onco, funded by the canadian Institutes of health research (CIHR).

The latter aims to introduce women, who have experienced a disease or a course of similar care, within the medical team in order to support other users who have to live with a cancer of the breast.

Indeed, the flexibility to resource parent (URA) are considered as full members of the care team. The URA is empowered to help other women who by his experience and understanding of the resources available, and what, quite voluntary.

Carole Pothier, who lived through the episode of breast cancer in 2014, is the URA who participated in the pilot project. Indeed, for more than a year, she has helped four women in the course of it.

“To facilitate, support, popularize, represents my role from a patient suffering from cancer. Beyond this relationship to ally, it is the presence, the emotional support, the reassurance that I can make in a period of his life where the route remains to the unknown. I hear things that are not said. I listen and understand the person, but I also hear that there is something else behind it all. The fact of having lived this disease, then I can offer an ear that is different and to anticipate their fears”, she says.

For the CIUSSS-MCQ, it is of course a desire to support women with cancer, but also to add value to the services offered. “We believe this program will help our clients to navigate through our range of services, but most importantly, to support the levels of psychological and social through their experiential knowledge and their experiences,” says Sylvie Limoges, associate director of the Program of fight against cancer, chronic pain, and specialized services of the CIUSSS-MCQ.

Besides, seven other women URA have potentially been recruited to come and support Ms. Pothier and the rest of the team. However, they will be required to attend training in advance.

Ms. Limoges holds that the project has been selected for the breast cancer because it is one of the most devastating and the need for the ladies, was present. Between 1 April 2016 and 31 march 2017, 517 women in the region who have received this diagnosis, of which 76 specifically at the Hospital of the Centre-du-Québec.

A project exportable
Currently, the service is only offered in Shawinigan, but Sylvie Limoges evokes the goal is to deploy the model in the facilities of Trois-Rivières, Victoriaville, Drummondville, La Tuque.

She also added that one of the objectives is to be able to apply this project to other diseases, such as cancer of the prostate or of the brain, for example.

To research
Furthermore, an evaluation of the effects and impacts of the introduction of the URA will be carried out by a team of researchers, policy makers and patients, under the direction of Marie-Pascale Pomey, a doctor and a professor-researcher of the research Chair of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Montréal, which focuses on the engagement of citizens and patients in the transformation of organisations and of the health system.

“One of the ways forward in the health care system is the greater presence of patients with clinical teams. In fact, these patients who have already experienced an episode of care or living with a chronic illness have acquired many skills that can be put to use for other patients. For example, they contribute to assist them to anticipate what they are going to live, to find strategies in their daily life with their families, to demystify the health care organization. But they also allow us to bring healthcare stakeholders to better understand the reality experienced by the patients and the needs they feel,” explains Ms. Pomey.

She also claims that the CIUSSS-MCQ is ahead of the other Quebec institutions in the ability to engage patients.

“This is the first one who actually implemented this project. It is very rare to have patients integrated as it’s within the clinical team”, she concludes.

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