Despite the fact that health information is now more accessible than ever, knowledge gaps remain between patients and healthcare providers (HCPs). To date, the patients’ need for information following a diagnosis of oesophageal cancer has not been adequately met.
The purpose of this study was to identify why knowledge gaps exist between oesophageal cancer patients and HCPs and how to address them.
Purposive sampling of a group of people living with and after oesophageal cancer who had participated in a priority-setting partnership where 45% of questions from patients had existing evidence-based answers. A 7-set question series was developed for use in a patient/HCP focus group in addition to 11 individual phone interviews with survivors of oesophageal cancer. Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted to explore oesophageal cancer patients’ access to information. The data was analysed thematically, which involved coding all patient transcripts before identifying and reviewing key themes.
The three primary themes that emerged were as follows: opportunity (HCP team factors and relationship development), ability (patient factors) and priority (pacing of information delivery).
Effective communication between patients and HCPs was identified as an integral component of the enhancement of patient knowledge. HCPs should continue to refine and improve methods of information delivery and encourage conversations regarding information preferences.