Professional collaboration - support for children with cancer and their families - focus group interview - a source of information and knowledge - professionals' perspectives.
The aim of this study is to describe professionals' perception of collaboration and their evaluation of a professional collaborative model for children with cancer in mid-Norway. Health and non-health professionals from the families' home communities were invited to participate in the study. The selection was based upon professionals working with children treated for cancer at the Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital in Trondheim between 1990 and 1996. Ninety-one of 142 eligible professionals (64%) responded to a questionnaire. Both health and non-health professionals agreed that collaboration takes care of the family's situation (76%) as well as broadening their own knowledge (77%). Two-thirds considered they had received enough information necessary for follow-up care, however, only 28% believed that families were confident that professionals had this knowledge. More than 80% of professionals considered collaborative meetings and support groups, essential elements of the model, as being effective methods for follow-up care. However, only 39% of professionals had participated in collaborative meetings and 46% in support groups. In addition, only 26% received systematic supervision. Health and non-health professionals regard collaboration as being valuable in follow-up care for children, their families and professionals themselves. However, our results suggest areas of potential improvement in the existing model.