Breast cancer patient pathways to healing

Action Researchers Annette Zøylner and colleagues have been co-researching with breast cancer patients and their relatives. They are finding more resources for healing on the patient pathway.

Annette writes: Our article gives insight into patients, relatives and healthcare professional’s involvement in the development of a breast cancer patient pathway. 

Great efforts have been made by healthcare professionals and politicians to strengthening the quality of care regarding breast cancer. However, although we have talked about the importance of patient involvement, we did not invite patients to contribute to the development of our healthcare service….. Until now.

We invited patients earlier treated for breast cancer in two surgical breast cancer clinics in Denmark, and their relatives to join dialogue meeting with healthcare professionals from the clinics. In the dialogue meetings the participants discussed and planned improvements in the breast cancer patient pathway based on patients and relatives expressed needs and suggestions. Twenty one patients, 10 relatives and 35 healthcare professionals participated in five dialogue meetings. There was an overwhelming interest and engagement from all participants. An important theme was the amount of information provided at time of diagnosis and a very short time to make decision on treatment. In response to this a patient decision aid on the surgical treatment for breast cancer was developed by patients, relatives and healthcare professionals. The patient decision aid is now being implemented in other breast cancer clinics in Denmark.

The participants were satisfied with the participatory process; however we must be aware of the follow-up period, facilitator skills, and healthcare professional’s attitude. And very important, joining dialogue meetings and working groups require patients and relatives to have surplus of energy. 

Action research proved a suitable design for research in patient involvement and the study have contributed to the knowledge base on a relevant method for involving patients in healthcare services.

Read the full paper HERE which we make available to all readers with an internet connection, starting today.

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