The “CANPRIM – Beyond oncology into primary care cancer distress follow-up study among outpatients” project was structured in three unique stages and carried out over three years (September 2020-September 2022). The CANPRIM project was the first study at a national level, carried out in collaboration with the National Society of Family Medicine. Our study proposed an outline of a working framework intended to highlight the major problems of oncology patients in the ambulatory, the psychosocial burden that the experience of an oncology diagnosis brings, as well as the psychosocial action paths intended for these patients in the context of primary medical care in Romania. The main objectives of this project were to identify the psychosocial needs of oncology patients in primary care, to assess the level of cancer distress felt, as well as its role and negative impact, and last but not least, to identify those oncology patients who are the most psychosocially vulnerable and may benefit from future cancer distress management interventions. Family medicine has a primary role in the context of these patients, with psychosocial assessment in primary care presenting the greatest potential for reducing cancer distress in ambulatory oncology patients. Our CANPRIM project may have major practical implications for primary care medical practice in Romania, providing a scientific and practical basis for implementing a cancer distress screening for oncological patients in our country.
An important aspect to consider is that the CANPRIM project and data collection took place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposed several difficulties, such as restricted access to institutions, vaccine-based access or no access independent of the vaccine, or the difficulty of getting in touch with institutions to discuss possible collaborations. Given the pandemic situation, it was necessary to think of different and multiple ways of action to get in touch with as many cancer outpatients and as many primary care providers as possible. Thus, we used several strategic approaches to achieve the above-mentioned objectives. However, despite the difficulties encountered, we managed to even exceed the initial objectives in the submitted application and the related contract, both from the perspective of the number of participants, which is higher than the one originally established and from the perspective of participation in a larger number of conferences, congresses or work meetings than previously established.
To highlight the project’s impact through the indicators, we emphasize the fact that, in terms of scientific contribution, we published two articles in ISI indexed journals, while another three articles were published in journals indexed in international databases (BDI). In addition, we have 11 active participations in national and international conferences, world congresses and work meetings, most of which involve the presentation of a paper by the project director Dr. Csaba L. Degi. This conference participation number is much higher than the initially established number, highlighting the team’s effort to disseminate the project and its results in as different contexts as possible, including participation in national, European and global conferences. Complementary, the project’s results were also disseminated in the written media through 5 publications and interviews, respectively, through 2 televised appearances on shows on a national television channel. Moreover, in addition to these, a book chapter was published in a scientific volume. All these are discussed in detail below, and the information is structured for each stage separately.
Read the final report HERE.