Innovative models of shared care

Collaborative care refers to an approach in which a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals provide patient care in a co-ordinated fashion. MPCCC’s collaborative care project is about harnessing the expertise of qualified health professionals in the community to support hospital providers in delivering best practice cancer care.

A pilot for cancer-related depression

Clinical depression is poorly recognised and treated in patients with cancer. International studies have determined that around 73% of cases go undetected, resulting in significant distress and reduced quality of life for patients.  

This data, together with a shortage of hospital-based psychiatrists and psycho-oncologists in MPCCC partner health services highlighted a need to improve patient access to supportive care.  MPCCC responded by piloting a collaborative care modle for patients with cancer related depression.

Through implementing the pilot for patients with cancer related depression, MPCCC was able to evaluate whether the collaborative care approach was clinically effective, acceptable to patients and healthcare providers, and administratively achievable.

Pilot study participants

MPCCC’s collaborative-care pilot for cancer related depression involved a team of:

  • expert hospital-based oncologists and psycho-oncologists form Cabrini, Monash Health and Peninsula Health
  • specialty-trained community-based psychologists
  • General Practitioners
  • cancer patients who had been diagnosed with clinical depression.
  • co-ordinating staff to manage interactions across the team
  • a steering committee to provide advice and oversee the project

For more information on the collaborative care pilot for cancer-related depression, click on the links below. For details of the project team and steering committee, see here.