Psycho-oncology Curriculum Needs Assessment in Postgraduate Education
Keywords:Psycho-oncology, Curriculum, Needs Assessment
Background: As the survival rate has increased among cancer patients, awareness of their psychological needs has also increased, and several countries have begun to plan psycho-oncology. However, this is not the case in Iran. This study was aimed at assessing the needs of the psycho-oncology curriculum in postgraduate education.
Methods: The study was conducted using the Delphi technique from 2018-2019. The statistical population included all psycho-oncology experts, 36 of whom were selected using purposive sampling. In the first step, the tasks of the cancer psychologist in the areas of education, health care, management, and research were extracted by reviewing the texts, and a preliminary list of needs was defined in a focus group. In the next step, experts were asked to review the defined tasks and add their suggested needs. In the second round of Delphi, a questionnaire was designed to prioritize and determine the importance and capability of performing tasks in Iran. Experts were asked to give a score of 1 to 5 to each of the educational needs based on the tasks of a cancer psychologist. Descriptive indicators of the obtained data were calculated using SPSS software.
Results: The results of the first round of Delphi provided a consensus on 172 educational needs in 4 areas, including 63 in health care, 42 in research, 39 in education, and 28 in management. After merging similar tasks into a group, the final list of tasks (including 107 important and agreed-upon tasks in 58 items) was developed in the second round of Delphi. Moreover, shared tasks were categorized as larger general educational needs, which included 12 general needs.
Conclusion: The findings indicated the importance and variety of the tasks of a cancer psychologist in the areas of health care for patients and their families. It is hoped that this needs assessment will be useful in developing theoretical and practical courses in psycho-oncology with the aim of improving patientsâ€™ quality of life (QOL).
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