Poster Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Developing a geriatric oncology service in Australian capital territory based on a model, with cancer social worker co-ordination. (#329)

Divyanshu Dua 1 , Toni Ashmore 1 , Gane Pranavan 1 , M E Choudhry 1 , Michael Chapman 1 , Anil Paramdhathil 1 , Desmond Yip 1

Older cancer patients should receive an interdisciplinary approach to care due to the frequent intersection of multiple medical and psycho-social issues.

  1. To develop a model of geriatric oncology service which utilizes existing resources and is coordinated by a social worker to attain the following outcomes:
  • To assess for change in management based on multidisciplinary team approach.
  • To assess morbidity and mortality data.
  • Patient and carer satisfaction.
  • To assess for early referrals to allied health and palliative care intervention in symptom management.


  1. All patients >80 years with newly diagnosed solid cancers referred to Department of Medical Oncology are directed to the Geriatric Oncology Service.
  2. All patients are assessed by the social worker coordinator using specific tools and discussed in a multidisciplinary team meeting.
  3. Patients are reviewed by medical oncologists and geriatricians on the same day.
  4. The clinic will assess for fitness for treatment, optimisation of co morbidities and psychosocial issues. Follow up phone calls to request feedback on the service.


1. The first clinic was held on 26th October 2016.

2. 59 patients were  eligible for the clinic from 1st October 2016 to 30th April 2017 (64% from ACT and 36% from adjoining areas from NSW).

3. 10 patients excluded (4 patients refused to attend, 2 patient did not have diagnosis and 4 were referred to different specialty)

  1. 71.43% fit patients, 20.40% borderline and 8.17% frail patients were identified based on assessments.
  2. 42/49 patients provided feedback with regards to the service. The responses were mostly positive with inter –rater variability of 66-90%.

4. This remains an ongoing service. 

Clinical Significance:

This social worker led model of care has been a feasible service utilising existing resources in our centre in providing specialist multidisciplinary care to geriatric oncology patients. However, this needs further validation in ongoing studies and analysis of outcome data.