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Supportive Communication

Increasing patient satisfaction through better communication.

Better communication increases patient satisfaction. Information about disease and treatment must be communicated to patients and their families or caregivers in an honest, sensitive and empathic manner. Supportive communication of this kind has been shown to increase patient and family satisfaction, reduce distress, promote faster recovery and improve quality of life. What is needed now are systematic approaches to communication skills training and its routine implementation.

person wearing a mask
Key Initiatives: Project Empathy

To help fulfill this need, we have begun Project Empathy, which involves the creation of a series of cinematic videos for oncologists that will highlight important moments in oncologist-patient interactions, the challenges that they pose, and effective means to overcome them.

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Navigation and Digital Health

Helping patients find their way.

The system of cancer care is complex. Cancer patients and their families require routine access to information, timely care, and traditional and non-traditional supportive care resources. Online and in-person navigation tools and psychosocial interventions are being developed to ensure access to optimal cancer care and maintain the wellbeing of patients, families and caregivers.

person speaking to doctor on tablet
Key Initiatives: CancerSpace and the E-Team Peer Navigator Program

The E-Team of volunteer navigators (formerly Healing Beyond the Body) offers virtual peer support to PM patients and acts as a catalyst for ongoing navigation initiatives. The E-Team will eventually be offered through CancerSpace, a comprehensive multimedia digital platform currently under development, that will provide information, navigation and emotional support for patients and families.

Paulosie Sivuak Canadian, 1930 – 1986, Family, Puvirnituq, Quebec, Stone
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Inclusion, Equity, Access & Anti-Racism (IDEAA).

Equity in access to cancer care is a fundamental principle but strategies are needed to ensure that that this is achieved for diverse and marginalized individuals and their families. Work in this pillar will improve our understanding of the diversity of our patient population and the barriers they face in accessing treatment and in having an optimal experience across the trajectory their disease. Obtaining this knowledge is the essential first step in developing meaningful solutions to infuse IDEAA and anti-racism principles in all aspects of cancer care.

diverse hands giving group high five
Key Initiatives:

Our goal is to infuse IDEAA principles in all Cancer Experience initiatives. In addition, research studies have been launched to identify gaps in equitable access to clinical trials, cancer survivorship, and rehabilitation services. We are also supporting a study that examines to understand better the lived experiences of Black women with breast cancer.

Paulosie Sivuak Canadian, 1930 – 1986, Family, Puvirnituq, Quebec, Stone
K.M. Graham Canadian, 1913 – 2008, Benedicte, Omnia Opera (Second Arctic Series), 1973, acrylic on Canvas (Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario)
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Creating an environment for excellent patient-centered care.

The environment in which cancer care, research, and education is delivered can have a significant impact on the well-being of our patients, families and healthcare providers. Initiatives in this pillar will include attention to the aesthetics of the environment and bringing art, music, and technology to enhance the sensory experience and subjective well-being of all who receive care, work, or train in the cancer centre.

TSO and PMH Video
Key Initiatives:

To bring these initiatives to life, we have partnered with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and independent artists. Through these partnerships, we aim to bring in new and culturally diverse art to patient areas. To date, we have welcomed individual TSO musicians into the cancer centre to play for patients and staff in clinical areas as part of our Symphony for the Soul series.

K.M. Graham Canadian, 1913 – 2008, Benedicte, Omnia Opera (Second Arctic Series), 1973, acrylic on Canvas (Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario)
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Partnering with patients for better care.

Engagement of our patients, families, staff, and trainees is essential for the delivery of optimal cancer care. Activities in this pillar will foster bidirectional communication between patients, families, and their care team to support shared decision-making and digital means will be used to support all who receive care, work, or train in the cancer centre. The importance of supportive engagement with patients, families, staff and trainees has been highlighted in recent years by the stresses and social disconnection imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

image from the Magic Castle
Key Initiatives:

We are developing a comprehensive program to support parents and care partners of children with cancer, including a Joint Program in Supportive Oncology with the Hospital for Sick Children and the Magic Castle – a dedicated pediatric space for therapeutic play in Princess Margaret. We are also collaborating with PM and UHN partners to develop initiatives that support the workplace well-being of healthcare providers and trainees.

Magic Castle

  • For contact information, visit the Magic Castle webpage
  • Location: 610 University Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Main Floor

Last reviewed: 9/14/2022
Last modified: 11/7/2023 6:02 AM
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