Purpose: Questions have been raised about the benefits of routine follow-up for patients with lung cancer and a number of studies have now explored alternative models of care for this patient group. This study explores the experiences of lung cancer patients attending routine follow-up and illustrates factors which might influence patients' interpretations of the meaning and significance of follow-up.
Method: This qualitative study was undertaken to gain insight into patients' experiences of attending routine follow-up clinics after treatment completion. A purposive sample of ten patients was interviewed, including patients of both genders, different lung cancer types, treatment intent, treatment received, performance status and experience of follow-up.
Results: Analysis of the transcripts revealed patients' confidence and faith in their consultants and the importance of having a connection with the oncology department. The meaning and significance of follow-up is constructed by what they bring to the consultation (anxiety, vulnerability, uncertainty, symptoms) as well as what happens within that consultation (reassurance, relief, encouragement). Although some participants were anxious about attending, all express expectation and desire for follow-up to continue. Many were, however, prepared to consider nurse-led follow-up.
Conclusion: Although small, this study highlights the significance that patients with lung cancer attach to attending follow-up clinics and the need to consider patients' experiences in the design of future follow-up care and also consideration should be given to complementary and innovative approaches to follow-up. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Lung cancer
- Oncology review clinic