Why cancer survivorship care needs assessment may lead to no clear patient pathway - Based on patients' experiences and perspectives

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify possible barriers and facilitators in needs assessment within cancer survivorship care and rehabilitation based on patients’ experiences and perspectives. Methods: The design was qualitative and guided by Interpretive Description methodology and Symbolic Interactionism as the theoretical framework. In all, 35 patients with haematological cancers were included, from hospital and primary care settings. Data consisted of participant observations and 15 semi-structured interviews generated through an ethnographic fieldwork during a five-month period. The study adheres to the COREQ guidelines. Results: All the patients in this study emphasized having various needs for cancer survivorship care after experiencing reduced functioning after treatment. They had all filled out a needs assessment form together with a healthcare professional but did not understand the overall purpose of the needs assessment. After the needs assessment, the dialogue on cancer survivorship care ended, and the needs assessment seemed to lead to no clear patient pathway. Cooperation between healthcare systems, which could have been the safety net for the patients, was lacking and left the patients ‘on their own’ after their cancer disease. Conclusion: This study gave insight into how missing cancer survivorship care dialogue, unclear purpose of the needs assessment and lack of cooperation among disconnected healthcare systems may lead to referral by chance and entail no clear survivorship care pathway. The needs assessment should be incorporated as a systematic approach for all patients and ensure referral to cancer survivorship care for the best possibilities for future support and care.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2020

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