Building psychosocial capacity through training of front-line health professionals to provide brief therapy: lessons learned from the PROMPT study

Jane Turner, Lisa Mackenzie, Brian Kelly, David Clarke, Patsy Yates, Sanchia Aranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This report describes the views of front-line health professionals who participated in a randomised controlled trial examining a model of care in which depressed cancer patients received a brief psychosocial intervention. Health professionals from four cancer centres received focused training, skill development and clinical supervision in order to deliver the intervention. Methods: We interviewed 20 health professionals asking them about their perceptions of participation in the study and their views about more widespread implementation of this model of care. Results: Participants strongly advocated for widespread implementation of this model of care; however, their ability to deliver the intervention varied depending on clinical roles and responsibilities. Many oncology nurses expressed conflict about delivering a psychosocial intervention when their clinical unit was busy. Finding a private area in which to talk was a frequent barrier in busy clinical units. Participants reported that they applied the skills and insights acquired in the study in their routine clinical work. Supervision was highly valued and was feasible to provide in clinical settings. Conclusion: Psychosocial care can be provided by a range of health professionals if they receive focused training and have access to supervision, but competing clinical demands are likely to limit their ability to routinely provide psychosocial care. This suggests that training should target professionals who have greater autonomy and flexibility in their work roles. Trial registration number: ANZCTR1260000448044.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1112
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Health professional training
  • Psychosocial
  • Systems change
  • Translation

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