Recently the Board members of the International Psycho-Oncology Society unanimously endorsed the concept that Distress be named the 6th Vital Sign in Oncology. Pain is the 5th Vital Sign.
Vital signs are an essential part of a patient’s case presentation. Prevalence rates of Distress in cancer patient populations have been well documented in the literature along with the impact of distress on cancer patients and their carers.
Stories from cancer patients revealed that receiving chemotherapy treatment in a Cancer Day Unit of a major teaching hospital was for many a distressing experience. Crowded waiting rooms were a highly anxious environment. First time chemo-patients were distressed and they told of treatments being physically and emotionally draining.
In response to this SolarisCare began a pilot project of providing Reflexology to patients and their carers in the Cancer Day Unit.IN WITH BOTH FEET Developing an evidence base for Reflexology in a Cancer Day Unit
Psychosocial Support: Providing Complementary Therapies for Cancer Patients in a WA Teaching Hospital, Results from SolarisCare’s Eight Years of Experience
D.J.L. Joske1, A.S. Petterson2 , M.Phillips3
1 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Haematology, Perth, WA, Australia
2 SolarisCare Foundation, Cancer Support Centre, Perth, WA, Australia
3 Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, Biostatistician Perth, WA, Australia
Introduction: SolarisCare is located in a major teaching hospital and provides access to cancer information, raises awareness of the value of psychosocial support and provides supervised complementary therapies for Western Australians with cancer and their carers. SolarisCare is serviced by volunteers, some who ‘meet and greet', others provide complementary therapies. SolarisCare has over 120 visitors weekly, about two-thirds access free complementary therapies.
To read more, download document below:CCOF WA Research Symposium Psychosocial Support
One in three Australians are affected by cancer. Thanks to improved medical treatment people are living longer.
The SolarisCare Foundation is playing a vital role in improving the wellbeing and quality of life of people living with cancer.
If you have the time and expertise and are interested in contributing to the SolarisCare Research group, please contact Dr Anna Petterson at the SolarisCare centre on
9346 7632 or by email for further information.