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Partnerships for Native Health Washington State University

Cancer Survivorship Curriculum

In 2013, Partnerships for Native Health conducted a needs assessment with community healthcare workers from partner tribes throughout Washington State. Approximately 80% of those interviewed expressed a need for survivorship support and facilitator training for cancer survivors. To address this need, P4NH staff partnered with Dr. Rachel Ceballos from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Ceballos and her team had previously developed and evaluated a Spanish-language support group for Latino cancer survivors living in the lower Yakima Valley of Central Washington. Building upon Dr. Ceballos’s successful work, P4NH staff established a new survivorship curriculum called Staying in the Circle of Life (SITCOL).

SITCOL is a cancer survivorship curriculum for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) cancer survivors and their families. SITCOL is designed for delivery in a 6-week series of support groups, guided by a trained facilitator. The curriculum is ideal for AI/AN survivors in the post-treatment phase. SITCOL is organized into 6 distinct modules, each focusing on a different aspect of post- treatment life. Each of the sessions takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and includes topics such as social support, physical and emotional health, and family health history.

Session 1: Group Introductions and Social Support

This module introduces the concept of social support for cancer survivors and their families. Participants will establish common ground rules and agreements that guide each session, and work on building connections within the group.

Handouts and Activities
Spider Web Activity

Session 2: Stress and Stress Management

This module presents helpful information on stress. Four distinct categories of stress will be discussed; Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual along with the different symptoms of each. Participants will brainstorm healthy ways of managing stress and participate in exercises for navigating stress management.

Handouts and Activities
Ten Actions Survivors Can Take

Session 3: Medical Advocacy and Advance Directives

This module gives useful information to help participant’s better advocate for their own health through practical tips and role-playing exercises. Participants look at examples of advanced directives and discuss end of life care.

Session 4: Medical Nutrition and Fitness

This module presents practical information on staying physically healthy. The curriculum provides tips on how to include traditional foods into your diet, and offers strategies for increasing fitness levels.

Session 5: Body Image and Intimacy

This module explores the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on the body. Participants are provided tools to explore their individual body image and intimacy issues.

Session 6: Family History and Genetics

This module provides helpful information about genetics and family health history. Participants explore the role of family health history in both their individual health and the health of their children and relatives.