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D. Barnes



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    MINI 36 - Imaging and Diagnostic Workup (ID 163)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Mini Oral
    • Track: Screening and Early Detection
    • Presentations: 1
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      MINI36.14 - Improving Pathways to Early Lung Cancer Diagnosis: Process Mapping and Qualitative Analysis (ID 746)

      18:30 - 20:00  |  Author(s): D. Barnes

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background:
      Lung cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose in primary care settings. Lung symptomatology alone is a poor indicator of likelihood of diagnosis and in Australia, most primary care practitioners (general practitioners, GPs) will see only one or two lung cancer cases annually. Early diagnosis leads to improved survival with 5-year lung cancer survival much higher in localised disease (30% versus 16% overall). Australia has a mixed public-private model of health services and referral pathways from primary to secondary and tertiary services are based on traditional or informal networks resulting in wide variations in practices. This presentation will report results from diagnostic pathway mapping in lung cancer across three multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to inform future intervention strategies to reduce variation and improve patient outcomes.

      Methods:
      We conducted process-mapping workshops with each team to identify the barriers to delivering diagnostic and treatment services. We also developed qualitative interview schedules for GPs and patients. We recruited participants through multiple strategies (mail out, personal invitation from the clinical champion) with local ethics approval.

      Results:
      Forty-six lung cancer clinicians and four consumers participated in process mapping workshops across three sites. The resulting process maps highlight health system delays and complexities for patients navigating health services, particularly for those living in regional and rural areas. The provision of specialist services for lung cancer diagnosis varies significantly geographically with potential for patients to be lost to follow up. Twelve GPs completed in-depth qualitative interviews or participated in a focus group to identify barriers and enablers in diagnostic pathways. Qualitative analysis reveals that GPs need tailored information about appropriate referrals to specialist pulmonologists or oncologists at the time of a suspicious lung cancer. For GPs without established referral networks, there can be significant uncertainty about the most appropriate referral pathways. Analysis from qualitative interviews with 20 lung cancer patients and their carers indicates that they perceive their GP as having an advocacy role in coordinating their care across specialists’ appointments and diagnostic investigations. Patients reported that personal contact and networking across clinicians in primary, secondary and tertiary settings was a significant factor in the timeliness of investigations or being referred for treatment. In particular, the urgency or severity of symptoms significantly impacted timeliness in securing appointments for investigative diagnostic tests. Patients reported that GPs willing to coordinate their care played an enabling or facilitating role in their care pathway.

      Conclusion:
      This collaborative project between clinicians and researchers has identified significant barriers and enablers in diagnostic pathways in lung cancer. Primary care practitioners play a significant role in managing patient care and require timely and tailored information about how to refer to a specialist who actively participates in a MDT. We have subsequently developed a protocol to implement a referral decision prompt at the time of CT investigation for those people with a suspicious lung lesion. This prompt will be directed at primary care practitioners and we are currently undertaking a pilot study to examine its feasibility and acceptability.

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    ORAL 27 - Care (ID 123)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Advocacy
    • Presentations: 1
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      ORAL27.03 - Patient Advocates in the Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway: A Qualitative Study of Interviews with Lung Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers (ID 225)

      10:45 - 12:15  |  Author(s): D. Barnes

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background:
      Despite lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer death in developed countries, there is surprisingly little qualitative research that documents lung cancer patients’ diagnostic pathway and beyond. Recent evidence from the UK highlighted that people diagnosed with the disease will have had three or more consultations with their family physician (general practitioner, GP) before referral to a lung cancer specialist. This study aimed to document the diagnostic pathway from the patient perspective through qualitative interviews and process mapping. The study is one component of a lung cancer implementation research program in the Australian setting.

      Methods:
      We developed a qualitative interview schedule to conduct with patients and their caregivers. We recruited participants via treating clinician (respiratory physician/pulmonologist or medical oncologist) by sending a personal invitation letter. All patients were at least six months post-diagnosis at the time of first invitation and we obtained human ethics committee approvals. Interviews were conducted by telephone or face-to-face, according to the participant’s preference. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded using a coding framework developed by four members of the investigator team (SY, NR, ML, PB). The transcripts were coded in NVIVO 10 software. We interpreted the transcripts with two specific purposes in mind: first, to draw detailed maps of their journey, documenting the key points about which participants spoke about. Secondly, we conducted a content analysis and developed qualitative themes to understand and interpret patient journeys.

      Results:
      Twenty lung cancer patients participated in the qualitative interviews. Interviews took about one hour to complete. The patient journey maps provided rich data to understand the complexity of pathways that patients experience in the lead up to their lung cancer diagnosis, their subsequent treatment through to survivorship or palliation phase. A number of patients recalled very precise information about their journey and had recorded diary entries of key dates or times in their diagnostic pathway. We examined all the maps to identify common elements in the pathways. We used the qualitative material to understand how patient care was coordinated across the journey and will report on specific themes. In particular, we will highlight the theme of advocacy. It was evident that hospital-based clinicians were frequently perceived as the coordinator of their patient’s care. We will discuss their role in advocating for urgent patient diagnostic investigations when these were necessary. These clinicians were frequently perceived by patients as their advocates beyond diagnosis, as were GPs where the patient had an established relationship with this physician. We will also address the themes of patient anxiety and self-advocacy, and provide specific examples of how patients self-managed their care.

      Conclusion:
      The patient journey through lung cancer diagnosis is complex and qualitative interviews provide a rich source of information to better understand how clinicians and family physicians advocate for patients, and how some patients self-advocate in their care. The resulting patient maps and qualitative material will inform lung cancer implementation research projects to address the diagnostic pathway and improving patient care.

      Only Members that have purchased this event or have registered via an access code will be able to view this content. To view this presentation, please login, select "Add to Cart" and proceed to checkout. If you would like to become a member of IASLC, please click here.

      Only Active Members that have purchased this event or have registered via an access code will be able to view this content. To view this presentation, please login or select "Add to Cart" and proceed to checkout.