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Annual Report 2018

Division of Cancer Information Service

Tomoko Takayama, Masayo Hayakawa, Chikako Yamaki, Yoji Inoue, Ayako Ishikawa, Akiko Urakubo, Yuko Ogo, Otome Kinoshita, Tomoko Takahashi, Yuki Nakatani, Yoshiko Ikeguchi, Akiko Yaguchi, Yumi Iwamitsu, Masayo Sakurai, Toshiko Sato, Emi Sawai, Kumiko Shiga, Ayumi Kishimoto, Akiko Shiratani, Kaoru Takai, Satoshi Takisawa, Mina Nakajima, Mizuho Maruyama, Erika Yamaguchi, Aki Oku, Kaori Shioda

Lines of Service

 We have continued to enhance and update "Ganjoho.jp", the nation's trusted source of cancer information with about 19,600 pages, and annual usage is now at 66.3 million PV. Our library of patient education publications has added or updated 12 cancer-related titles, and 79 other titles, such as genomic medicine, fertility, and supportive care information. Content regarding regional cancer information resources and clinical trials has also been updated extensively. All of our patient education publications, in either booklet or pamphlet formats, are available for free download online and hard copies are disseminated via a bulk order printing scheme, which has made it more cost effective for cancer care facilities and related healthcare providers of all sizes.

 The Division of Cancer Information Service (DCIS) continues to act as a hub that brings together the over 2,000 specialists that run the 437 Cancer Information & Support Centers (CISCs) deployed nationwide, with a bi-annual conference for prefectural CISC leadership, where we look to allow the practitioners to share the latest set of best practices. The CISC leadership working group was also instrumental in surveying the key issues facing the CISCs nationwide and formulating recommendations for the National guidelines for designated cancer care hospitals - from the CISC perspective - and share updated support information.

Research activities

 As part of our multi-year effort to devise a more sustainable model for operating a national Cancer Information Service (as well as the CISC network), research programs are on-going in the following areas: 1) Strategic review of the information portfolio to better define core/noncore domains, ways to further standardize both the content structure and the editorial processes, and opportunities and processes to better leverage other stakeholders (e.g., cancer academic societies and support groups) in collaborative production and load sharing, 2) Developing viable assessment scales for CISC activities, 3) Developing CISC support tools that enhance their ability to seek out reliable information in a shorter time span.

Nurturing Professionals

 The cancer counselor specialists that staff the nationwide network of CISCs undergo both online training (e-learning curriculums delivered via a site we operate) and on-site group training sessions. We have provided a total of 37 lectures for basic and further training courses, and 3 for updated training courses.

 A newly introduced certification scheme has now made it possible for cancer counselors in hospitals outside the fold of the MHWDesignation (nationally orchestrated regional cancer center designation) schemes to undergo the same set of fundamental training, and to receive certifications. This potentially opens an avenue for cancer information counselors to be deployed at upwards of 300 prefecturedesignated cancer care hospitals and 437 nationally designated locations. In this scheme, 191 certified cancer counselors and three certified CISCs were created in 2018, for a total of 437 and 23, respectively.

 The DCIS has spearheaded efforts to encourage regional networking of CISC professionals, so that a more frequent and more pertinent mix of skill-enhancing opportunities are made available to a broader set of professionals in this still nascent field. The regional CISC training forums, now in their eighth year, take place in more than five regions this year, and in two cases, they have become regionally self-sustaining, with an agreed upon model to jointly manage annual programs with rotating venues.

 Our media education initiatives are now in their 12th year, with three theme conferences held during 2018.

 We have also added public libraries to our dissemination channel with the donation-funded initiative "Cancer information gifts" - not only providing cancer information booklets and leaflets but also ensuring that reference librarians can put their users in touch with the local CISCs when and where this is deemed desirable. As of the end of FY2018, 116 public libraries throughout the nation have joined this network, and our networking venues, that bring interested librarians and CISC counselors together in halfday forums, have now taken place in five regions throughout the nation.

Future Prospects

 While the DCIS remains committed to our stated aims of bringing more accurate and reliable information to patients, families, caregivers, as well as healthcare practitioners in a contextsensitive manner, we are constantly challenged by the need to keep abreast of the rapid proliferation of new information in all related fields from treatment through to survivorship, while running a tight ship within the constraints of a publicly funded agency. In light of the challenge, we endeavor to incrementally evolve both our production model, as well as the CISC framework, to better leverage the capabilities of various extramural partners, to arrive at a more sustainable set of processes and services.

List of papers published in 2018


 1. Kikuzawa S, Pescosolido B, Kasahara-Kiritani M, Matoba T, Yamaki C, Sugiyama K. Mental health care and the cultural toolboxes of the present-day Japanese population: Examining suggested patterns of care and their correlates. Soc Sci Med, 228:252- 261, 2019

 2. Togari T, Inoue Y, Abe S, Hosokawa R, Takaku Y. HIV-Related Health Status, Adherence, and Stress Coping Capacity among Men Living with HIV in Japan. HIV/AIDS Res Treat Open J, 5:1-8, 2018

 3. Kasahara-Kiritani M, Matoba T, Kikuzawa S, Sakano J, Sugiyama K, Yamaki C, Mochizuki M, Yamazaki Y. Public perceptions toward mental illness in Japan. Asian J Psychiatr, 35:55-60, 2018

 4. Okuhara T, Ishikawa H, Urakubo A, Hayakawa M, Yamaki C, Takayama T, Kiuchi T. Cancer information needs according to cancer type: A content analysis of data from Japan's largest cancer information website. Prev Med Rep, 12:245-252, 2018