This study aimed to explore barriers to and enablers for future implementation of a draft clinical pathway for anxiety and depression in cancer patients in the Australian context.
Health professionals reviewed a draft clinical pathway and participated in qualitative interviews about the delivery of psychosocial care in their setting, individual components of the draft pathway, and barriers and enablers for its future implementation.
Five interrelated themes were identified: ownership; resources and responsibility; education and training; patient reluctance; and integration with health services beyond oncology.
The five themes were perceived as both barriers and enablers and provide a basis for an implementation plan that includes strategies to overcome barriers. The next steps are to design and deliver the clinical pathway with specific implementation strategies that address team ownership, endorsement by leaders, education and training modules designed for health professionals and patients and identify ways to integrate the pathway into existing cancer services.