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Milestones of HKACS – Jockey Club “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project

Cancer affects thousands of families. At present, cancer treatments are mostly carried out in the day centre, which focuses on dealing with the patients’ physical symptoms. The patients' emotions or psycho-social concerns are often overlooked or incapable to handle due to constraints in time and manpower. The patients need to return home after receiving the day treatment in the hospital, and the responsibility of caring for them falls on the family members, putting them under a great deal of pressure. The patients and their families lack continuous community support during this period, and often left them feeling flustered.

In view of this, the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society launched the “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project in 2011. A team of registered nurses and social workers visited patients and their caregivers at home, telephoned them to offer nutritional and nursing tips as well as psychological support. Regular local support meetings and family outings were organised to encourage self-help and family bonding. Referrals for professional consultation such as Chinese Medicine, physiotherapy or psychology, and tangible assistance such as home cleaning and escort services or charity programmes were made whenever needed.

The Project gained favourable feedbacks from clients and positive outcomes in evaluation study. We are grateful to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for their funding since 2015 that we have been able to expand and enrich our services to benefit many more cancer families.

We are privileged to have the Christian Family Service Centre as our first strategic partner in 2015 and Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation is our second strategic partner in 2018 to establish the Kwun Tong Centre and Tai Po Centre. We look forward to further enhancing the working synergy among our 3 organisations.

We are increasingly convinced that the patient-centred, family-based and community-outreach support model provided by the Project is able to fill the service gap in the existing medical-dominated healthcare system. We are deeply appreciated that the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has extended their support to the Project for three more years till August 2021.

LAUNCH of HKACS-Jockey Club “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project (WHIH) Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit intervention model tailored to HK cancer patients helps patients and their families come out of the dark clouds. HKU study proves effectiveness of HKACS-Jockey Club “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project.
Randomised Waitlisted-control Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit study research was conducted on 22 patient- caregiver dyads. In patient group, statistically significant difference was identified in Behaviour Exercise and Clinical Knowledge. In caregivers group, significant interaction effect was identified in Clinical Support.
Jockey Club Charities Trust further supported and funded the project for another 3 years, with expanded teams & a new centre at Tai Po. Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation was the second strategic partner.
Two abstracts were presented at the Asian Family Summit in HK. These were jointly presented by Dr. Fung YL (HKU research team), Mr. Ken Tsao and Mrs. Tammy Lee (WHIH Team).
The Project has supported 2,800 cancer families during the period between 2015 and 2018 and achieved all targets. Evaluation study led by HKU showed positive outcomes.
WHIH Project entered the final round of the 3A Project organised by Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region and won an Outstanding Award.
HKACS-Jockey Club Cancer Family Support Project launched with funding from The HK Jockey Club Charities Trust for 3 years. Christian Family Service Centre was our first strategic partner and Kwun Tong Centre was established while HKACS remained as the Head Office.
Abstract presentation on the Project at 3A Project organised by Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region (CIFA) held in Shanghai was made by Team Leader, Mrs. Tammy Lee.
Mrs. Pat Chu presented an abstract at the 10th International Conference on Grief & Bereavement on “Supporting the Family as a Whole – A Needs Assessment Study on Cancer Families in HK”.
HKACS supported the Project on the Society’s own resources while actively exploring other funding.
Chairman of HKACS, Mrs. Pat Chu presented “Cancer Families Support” at the Symposium on Cancer Control: Challenges & Opportunities co-organised by HKACS and UICC.
A press event was held to release the findings of the evaluation study on the project and appeal for support from the community and government with an object to gain adequate resources allocated to support cancer families in the long term.
HKU completed an evaluation study of the project in Oct 2013. The report showed significant improvement in QoL in patients & carers.
HKACS launched a 2 year pilot project, the Walking Hand-in-Hand Cancer Family Support Project.
*HKACS: The Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society
*WHIH: Walking Hand-in-Hand Cancer Family Support Project
*HKU: The University of Hong Kong
*UICC: International Union for Cancer Control