Comparing breast and lung cancer patients’ experiences at a UK Cancer Centre: implications for improving care and moves towards a person centered model of clinical practice

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Elizabeth A. Davies
Peter Madden
Victoria H Coupland H. Coupland
Mairead Griffin
Alison Richardson


Patient surveys are increasingly used to obtain feedback about experiences of care to guide changes in the way services are delivered. We compared the experiences of breast and lung cancer patients at diagnosis, in-patient and outpatient care at a Cancer Centre using a locally adapted version of the Picker Institute Cancer Patient Experience Survey.  65% of breast (82/127) and 65% of lung (75/116) cancer patients responded. Both groups reported good experiences at diagnosis, good support from clinical nurse specialists, and had very positive overall views. Breast patients had slightly poorer experiences of hospital stays while lung patients less often received clinical nurse specialist support and information about other support. Both groups reported that written information was not always provided. 84% (132/157) consented to data on the clinical severity of their condition being used to investigate whether this influenced experiences. This study showed that supportive care policies are being implemented at diagnosis and patients value clinical nurse specialist care. Sufficiently large comparative surveys can identify specific areas of performance for services to focus upon in order to improve quality of care. Patients facing poor prognoses can complete surveys and future studies might explore whether disease stage is associated with differing experiences.

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