What is important in cancer care coordination? A qualitative investigation

Authors

  • J. WALSH bsc mph, research officer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney
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  • J.M. YOUNG mbbs, mph, phd, associate professor,

    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney
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  • J.D. HARRISON bsc(hons), mph, phd student,

    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney
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  • P.N. BUTOW ba(hons), mcp, phd, mph, professor,

    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney, and School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney
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  • M.J. SOLOMON mb bch, bao(hons), msc, fracs, professor of surgery,

    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney, and Discipline of Surgery, University of Sydney, Sydney
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  • L. MASYA bss&p(hons), research officer,

    1. Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney
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  • K. WHITE mn, phd, professor

    1. Faculty Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Financial disclosure: this research was funded by the Cancer Institute New South Wales.

Jennifer Walsh, Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, PO Box M157, Missenden Road, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia (e-mail: jennifer.walsh@email.cs.nsw.gov.au).

Abstract

WALSH J., YOUNG J.M., HARRISON J.D., BUTOW P.N., SOLOMON M.J., MASYA L. & WHITE K. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care20, 220–227 What is important in cancer care coordination? A qualitative investigation

Although it is widely recognised that better coordination of cancer care holds considerable potential to improve patients' experience of care and their outcomes, there is no agreed definition of the term ‘care coordination’ or consensus as to what it entails. An explorative descriptive qualitative study was undertaken to explore the views and experiences of key stakeholders to identify the key components of cancer care coordination. We conducted semi-structured individual and focus groups interviews with patients (n= 20) who have been treated for any cancer and carers (n= 4) as well as clinicians (n= 29) involved in cancer care, using open-ended questions. Data were collected until saturation of concepts was reached. A phenomenological approach based on grounded theory was used to explore the participants' experiences and views. Seven key components were identified: organisation of patient care, access to and navigation through the healthcare system, the allocation of a ‘key contact’ person, effective communication and cooperation among the multidisciplinary team and other health service providers, delivery of services in a complementary and timely manner, sufficient and timely information to the patient and needs assessment. The components of cancer care coordination identified provide an empirical basis for the development of metrics and interventions to improve this aspect of cancer care.

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