August 2014

The Journal of Cancer Education, August 2014, featured an article by Troy University Assistant Professor, Dr. Judy Bazzell titled Matching the Unmet Needs of Cancer Survivors to Resources Using a Shared-Care Model.  The article was co-authored by Dr. Amy Spurlock and Dr. Marilyn McBride.

According to the research project conducted by Dr. Bazzell, a substantial number of cancer survivors have unmet needs affecting quality of life.  The purpose of the project was to match the unmet needs of cancer survivors in three rural counties to available evidence-based interventions and resources that improve survivor quality of life using a shared care model.  The modified Survivors Unmet Needs Survey (SUNS) was used to explore the unmet needs of 52 survivors in three domains: emotional health, access and continuity of care, and information.

Additionally, a comprehensive search for evidence-based interventions or other services available to these survivors was conducted.  Efforts were made to determine whether the use of a shared care delivery model of survivorship care might improve opportunities for survivors to connect with resources.  Twenty-five percent of the rural survivors reported high or very high emotional health or access and continuity of care unmet needs.  ANOVA results provided evidence that there is a difference between survivor years since diagnosis and access and continuity of care unmet needs.  ANOVA results also found that there is a difference between survivor age and emotional unmet needs.

Access to interventions and survivorship resources were found to be limited in the rural areas included in the study.  Interventions or resources found to exist required technology access or substantial travel.  In many cases, they were found to be simply out of reach for most rural survivors without assistance from care providers.  The unmet needs of survivors can be determined and matched with resources that improve quality of life if providers collaborate through use of a shared care model.

Dr. Bazzell is in her 25th year as BSN faculty member.  Dr. Bazzell received her DNP in May 2014.  In December of 2014, SON graduating students honored Dr. Bazzell with the creation of the Judy Bazzell Achievement Award which is given to a graduating student each semester who has been successful in the BSN program despite many hardships and challenges in their personal life. 

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