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Exploring experiences of cancer care in Wales – a thematic analysis of free-text responses to the 2013 Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES)

Exploring experiences of cancer care in Wales – a thematic analysis of free-text responses to the 2013 Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES)
Exploring experiences of cancer care in Wales – a thematic analysis of free-text responses to the 2013 Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES)
Objectives To provide the first systematic analysis of a national (Wales) sample of free-text comments from patients with cancer, to determine emerging themes and insights regarding experiences of cancer care in Wales.

Design Thematic analysis of free-text data from a population-based survey.

Setting and participants Adult patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis treated within a 3-month period during 2012 in the 7 health boards and 1 trust providing cancer care in Wales.

Main outcome measures Free-text categorised by theme, coded as positive or negative, with ratios. Overarching themes are identified incorporating comment categories.

Methods 4672 respondents (of n=7352 survey respondents) provided free-text comments. Data were coded using a multistage approach: (1) coding of comments into general categories (eg, nursing, surgery, etc), (2) coding of subcategories within main categories (eg, nursing care, nursing communication, etc), (3) cross-sectional analysis to identify themes cutting across categories, (4) mapping of categories/subcategories to corresponding closed questions in the Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES) data for comparison.

Results Most free-text respondents (82%, n 3818) provided positive comments about their cancer care, with 49% (n=2313) giving a negative comment (ratio 0.6:1, negative-to-positive). 3172 respondents (67.9% of free-text respondents) provided a comment mapping to 1 of 4 overarching themes: communication (n=1673, 35.8% free-text respondents, a ratio of 1.0:1); waiting during the treatment and/or post-treatment phase (n=923, 19.8%, ratio 1.5:1); staffing and resource levels (n=671, 14.4% ratio 5.3:1); speed and quality of diagnostic care (n=374, 8.0%, ratio 1.5:1). Within these areas, constituent subthemes are discussed.

Conclusions This study presents specific areas of concern for patients with cancer, and reveals a number of themes present across the cancer journey. While the majority of comments were positive, analysis reveals concerns shared by significant numbers of respondents. Timely communication can help to manage these anxieties, even where delays or difficulties in treatment may be encountered.
1-10
Bracher, Michael
e9e2fbd6-af5f-4f6e-8357-969aaf51c52e
Corner, Jessica
eddc9d69-aa12-4de5-8ab0-b20a6b5765fa
Wagland, Richard
16a44dcc-29cd-4797-9af2-41ef87f64d08
Bracher, Michael
e9e2fbd6-af5f-4f6e-8357-969aaf51c52e
Corner, Jessica
eddc9d69-aa12-4de5-8ab0-b20a6b5765fa
Wagland, Richard
16a44dcc-29cd-4797-9af2-41ef87f64d08

Bracher, Michael, Corner, Jessica and Wagland, Richard (2016) Exploring experiences of cancer care in Wales – a thematic analysis of free-text responses to the 2013 Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES). BMJ Open, 6 (9), 1-10, [e011830]. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011830).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives To provide the first systematic analysis of a national (Wales) sample of free-text comments from patients with cancer, to determine emerging themes and insights regarding experiences of cancer care in Wales.

Design Thematic analysis of free-text data from a population-based survey.

Setting and participants Adult patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis treated within a 3-month period during 2012 in the 7 health boards and 1 trust providing cancer care in Wales.

Main outcome measures Free-text categorised by theme, coded as positive or negative, with ratios. Overarching themes are identified incorporating comment categories.

Methods 4672 respondents (of n=7352 survey respondents) provided free-text comments. Data were coded using a multistage approach: (1) coding of comments into general categories (eg, nursing, surgery, etc), (2) coding of subcategories within main categories (eg, nursing care, nursing communication, etc), (3) cross-sectional analysis to identify themes cutting across categories, (4) mapping of categories/subcategories to corresponding closed questions in the Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey (WCPES) data for comparison.

Results Most free-text respondents (82%, n 3818) provided positive comments about their cancer care, with 49% (n=2313) giving a negative comment (ratio 0.6:1, negative-to-positive). 3172 respondents (67.9% of free-text respondents) provided a comment mapping to 1 of 4 overarching themes: communication (n=1673, 35.8% free-text respondents, a ratio of 1.0:1); waiting during the treatment and/or post-treatment phase (n=923, 19.8%, ratio 1.5:1); staffing and resource levels (n=671, 14.4% ratio 5.3:1); speed and quality of diagnostic care (n=374, 8.0%, ratio 1.5:1). Within these areas, constituent subthemes are discussed.

Conclusions This study presents specific areas of concern for patients with cancer, and reveals a number of themes present across the cancer journey. While the majority of comments were positive, analysis reveals concerns shared by significant numbers of respondents. Timely communication can help to manage these anxieties, even where delays or difficulties in treatment may be encountered.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 July 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 September 2016
Published date: 2 September 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399715
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399715
PURE UUID: 2ece3555-161c-499c-86f2-30a78eaaeaa9
ORCID for Michael Bracher: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5861-2657
ORCID for Richard Wagland: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1825-7587

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Aug 2016 10:10
Last modified: 20 Feb 2020 01:31

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