Published on July 11, 2012 at 2:48 AM
As part of the new project, a checklist developed by Belkora called "SCOPED'' assists patients in developing questions and arriving at decisions. (SCOPED stands for Situation, Choices, Objectives, People, Evaluation, and Decisions). Licensed mental health professionals are being certified in the use of the checklist, and it is being disseminated to hospitals, clinics, and community-based organizations in the United States and United Kingdom.
"Without this kind of support, patients may go along with suggested treatments without fully understanding all the ramifications,'' said Margaret Stauffer, a newly-certified trainer from the Cancer Support Community office in Walnut Creek, California. "It's critical for patients to be able to more fully reflect on their options and make informed choices that fully reflect their personal priorities.''
The Walnut Creek program helped Stephanie Slade, 63, when she was diagnosed in January with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
"Cancer patients have a lot to wrestle with,'' said Slade. "I hadn't been sick in more than 25 years, and it's a scary spot to suddenly be in. This program is a wonderful service - it helps you clarify your thoughts as you try to figure out your options. And it gives you peace of mind to know that you are being pro-active and aware of all the possible risks and alternatives when facing a serious illness.''