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.