Patients’ Perspectives on What Makes a Better Care Experience While Undergoing Treatment for Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Secondary to Head and Neck Cancer
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Patients’ perceptions on what makes a better care experience for head and neck cancer (HNca) have not been widely sought. Patients’ perceptions can play a crucial role in shaping quality care and client involvement. To investigate patients’ perspectives on what makes a better care experience while undergoing rehabilitation for oropharyngeal dysphagia secondary to HNca. Qualitative data were collected in the form of semi-structured interviews from eight patients after they had undergone rehabilitation for HNca. The data were thematically analysed by two researchers independently. Six themes, plus subthemes, were identified. These themes were Supportive network is essential; Reassurance from staff professionalism; Access to service; Using own motivation and resilience; Receiving the right information and Ongoing shock and adjustment. Results are discussed in context of the literature and clinical implications and future research are recommended. Collation of patients’ perspectives is valuable to increase insight into what makes a better rehabilitative journey for patients with HNca. Rehabilitation that is holistic, specialised and patient-specific is highly valued by patients with HNca.
KeywordsPatients’ perspectives Rehabilitation Dysphagia Head and neck cancer Oncology Deglutition and deglutition disorders
This research was supported by a clinician research grant awarded by Speech Pathology Australia in 2016 (award title: Clinician Research Grant, 2016). Thank you to our participants for sharing their experiences. We would also like to thank Margaret Mealings for sharing her interviewing expertise.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Authors Martin Checklin, Jessica Bain and Lucy Bath report no conflict of interests. Kate Lethbridge received a research grant from Speech Pathology Australia to conduct this work (Award Title: Clinician Research Grant, 2016) and has no further conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for producing this paper.
The study was completed in accordance with the ethical standards of the local institutional ethics committee (Epworth Healthcare, Ethics Number EH2017-189) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration. This research was supported by a clinician research grant awarded by Speech Pathology Australia in 2016 (Award Title: Clinician Research Grant, 2016) to Ms Kate Lethbridge.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants.