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Pathfinders use an integrative approach to ensure that all areas of a patient’s care are explored. They work from the knowledge that healing occurs when the whole person is cared for, including the body, mind, and spirit. Patients are guided through a research based, “Seven Pillars of Personal Recovery,” given booklets that inform and guide them at each phase of medical care, from diagnosis, into treatment, and then as intensive medical care is concluding. Booklets teach the patient how to identify social and emotional obstacles to recovery, rediscovery of their inner strengths, and building the coping skills critical to the period of cancer survival. The Pathfinder works with the patient to help create an individualized self-care plan, which is updated regularly.
• Patient and family education
• Support groups for patients and caregivers
• Nutrition and exercise education
• Relaxation/stress reduction skills training,
• Spiritual counseling
• Life review and end-of-life planning
Additional therapies provided by certified practitioners at Duke or in the home community:
• Massage Therapy
• Healing Touch
Referrals for these additional therapies are made with the approval of the patient’s oncologist. All non-Duke practitioners are carefully screened. Pathfinders work in conjunction with each patient’s traditional course of treatment. When properly combined with standard cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, complementary therapies may enhance wellness and quality of life.