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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 1009–1015 | Cite as

Changing communication needs and preferences across the cancer care trajectory: insights from the patient perspective

  • Sally ThorneEmail author
  • T. Gregory Hislop
  • Charmaine Kim-Sing
  • Valerie Oglov
  • John L. Oliffe
  • Kelli I. Stajduhar
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

In this program of research, we sought to expand our understanding of how cancer patients' communication needs and preferences change across the course of their illness trajectory. To address known limitations in the empirical knowledge base, we designed a study capitalizing on representative patient reports as they occurred within time and across experience obtaining care for this disease.

Methods

We used a longitudinal cohort design informed by interpretive description methodology to follow 125 patients over a multi-year period as they reflected on their ongoing experiences with cancer care communication.

Results

In relation to each phase of their cancer care trajectory, patients identified tension points and contextual challenges impinging on what they felt constituted helpful and unhelpful patient–provider communication.

Conclusions

Findings from this study create a dynamic portrait of how we can better inform communication approaches and interventions through interpretations of population knowledge and individual experience.

Keywords

Communication Cancer experience Physician–patient relationship Psychosocial oncology Patient-reported outcomes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (#134487) and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (#020376).

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that they have no financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. They also confirm that they have full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally Thorne
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Gregory Hislop
    • 2
  • Charmaine Kim-Sing
    • 3
  • Valerie Oglov
    • 1
  • John L. Oliffe
    • 1
  • Kelli I. Stajduhar
    • 4
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyBritish Columbia Cancer AgencyVancouverCanada
  4. 4.School of NursingUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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