Transforming the way hospitals take care of patients

Pillars4Life is a patient support program that has been proven in clinical trials to enhance quality-of-life for cancer patients, while at the same time allowing hospitals to effectively and efficiently triage and attend to the psychosocial needs of their patients.

Participants in the program come together in Virtual Training Groups either via phone or video conference (their choice) and are guided through a nine-week coping skills training course by a specially-trained social worker – all from the comfort of their own home. Each session lasts one hour and fifteen minutes and is a highly structured, solution-focused, psycho-educational experience that teaches patients concrete tools for living fully in the presence of illness and empowers them to become proactive in navigating the cancer journey.

In a clinical trial at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2008 patients who participated in an earlier, face-to-face version of the program (called Pathfinders) perceived their quality-of-life as improved across a range of symptoms including distress, despair, helplessness, hopelessness and fatigue – in spite of the fact that their disease was progressing. Pillars4Life takes the same standardized curriculum and teaches it in Virtual Training Groups giving patients the added benefit of broadening their network of support while learning the powerful skills of the program.

The LIVESTRONG Foundation selected Pillars4Life as a 2012 Model Program for replication in our Community Impact Project. The LIVESTRONG Foundation is currently working with Pillars4Life to train and launch this innovative support program in 20 new communities nationwide.