Facilitators and barriers perceived by health professionals in the implementation of Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) psychotherapy in Santiago

30 Jun 2021
Loreto Fernández-González, Moisés Russo Namías, Paulina Bravo

Introduction: Palliative care (PC) for advanced cancer is guaranteed by law in Chile, but the formal training for it is insufficient. Training models have emerged internationally that enable professionals to be better prepared for the provision of psychotherapy in PC. The objective of this study is to explore health professionals’ perceptions of the ‘Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully’ (CALM) psychotherapy and the perceived barriers and facilitators to its implementation, based on a theoretical training.

Methods: A qualitative study was carried out with health professionals working in oncology and/or PC and participating in a CALM training. A focus group was conducted after to explore the experience of CALM training and the perceived barriers and facilitators to its implementation. A thematic analysis of the content and an analysis of the facilitators and barriers to the implementation of mental health services were carried out.

Results: Twenty four professionals participated in the training, six of whom were part of the subsequent focus group. There was a consensus that the training was a positive professional experience and that it is a culturally sensitive and feasible intervention for application in Chile. The barriers identified include institutional bureaucracy as resistance to change, the excess workload of the clinical teams and the absence of spaces for more in-depth training.

Conclusions: CALM is a useful and relevant framework for the training of health professionals working in oncology and PC. In Chile, there is a need for training spaces on this topic. Future research and organisational studies should evaluate professionals’ beliefs about, and resistance to, adopting evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions.

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