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Cancer, Culture, Learning, Patient education



  1. Grahn, Gertrud R.N.T., Ph.D.
  2. Danielson, Marta R.N.T., Lic.Soc.Sc.
  3. Ulander, Kerstin R.N., Dr.Med.Sc.


Patient group education is an evidence-based and powerful intervention for supporting and guiding patients toward an understanding of the cancer experience. An education program for patients and families, entitled Learning to Live With Cancer, has been developed and evaluated in a Swedish research project, and implemented clinically. The program is a core model with a structure that allows flexibility in addressing learning needs. It has grown into a pan-European program through "training the trainers" courses, and is now available in many countries. This has taken the project into a new phase, since Europe is characterized not only by showing many different countries, but also by showing cultural diversity and variety in ethical norms. The aim of this phase thus was to assess the presence of core-model divergences conditioned by cultural values and norms, and if present, to investigate adjustments proposed to increase the relevance of the program to best suit patients' learning needs in different cultures. A questionnaire was distributed to former participants in "training the trainers" courses. The findings indicate that only minor divergences are present, and that the core model thus has the potential to meet the learning needs of cancer patients in many cultures.