Introduction – Improving patient care: quality assurance of psychological care


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Michael Sharpe

University of Edinburgh, UK

Abstract

Psychological and non-drug treatments are an essential part of cancer care. However the quality of delivery of such treatments varies. Quality assurance (QA) techniques include the use of treatment manuals, therapist training and supervision and the monitoring of treatment delivery. Clinical trials need to use QA if they are to differentiate ineffective treatment from merely poorly delivered treatment. However, QA of treatment has not only been inconsistently implemented in trials but is also often absent in clinical practice. This raises major issues for implementation. The session will clarify the problem, give practical examples, and offer a framework for QA.