Hematological cancer survivors’ experiences of participating in a shared care follow-up—an exploratory interview study

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the present study was to explore hematological cancer survivors’ experiences of participating in a shared care follow-up based on alternating routine physician visits and nurse-led telephone consultations at the Department of Hematology, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.

Design

The design was an exploratory qualitative interview study based on a semi-structured interview guide.

Method

Twelve patients who had participated in the shared care follow-up were interviewed. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results

Our findings suggest that hematological patients found the nurse-led telephone consultations convenient and helped alleviate anxiety. Despite fewer visits to the hospital and less physical examinations, the patients’ sense of security was maintained. Furthermore, completing questionnaires and the emotional and psychosocial focus in nurse consultations were considered beneficial. Finally, using the telephone was considered to be personal and an acceptable way of talking about topics of a sensitive nature.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that hematological cancer survivors value alternating routine visits and nurse-led telephone consultations as part of cancer survivorship care as well as the emotional and psychological focus of the shared care follow-up. It seems that their sense of security was maintained due to retention of physical examinations.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

The findings from this study underline the importance of the flexibility and adaptability of cancer follow-up in order to meet patients’ needs and preferences. Furthermore, this study underlines the importance of cancer survivorship care that goes beyond disease-related support.

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Correspondence to Mia Sommer.

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Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Danish Data Protection Agency (jour. no. 2008-58-0028). Approval from the National Ethics Committee was not required as interview studies not including human biological material are waivered notification according to Danish legislation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

All patients consented to the interviews in writing and the patients’ identities were protected by project id numbers in order to secure potential identification of the patients.

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Sommer, M., Frandsen, L., Jensen, P. et al. Hematological cancer survivors’ experiences of participating in a shared care follow-up—an exploratory interview study. J Cancer Surviv (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-020-00955-y

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Keywords

  • Patient experiences
  • Hematological malignancies
  • Nurse-led telephone consultations
  • Cancer survivors
  • Cancer survivorship care
  • Patient-reported outcome measures