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Interview with Prof. Mary Wells at EONS 2016: What patients are missing in cancer care

Mary Wells

Prof. Mary Wells is especially interested in what happens to cancer patients after they have completed treatment and how their wellbeing can be improved. In line with these questions she is involved with Scotland´s first Cancer Patient Experience Survey (SCPES). Around 5000 cancer patients have answered a questionnaire regarding their experience with cancer care. Prof. Wells recently analyzed the free-text comments of the questionnaire. Overall there were more positive than negative comments. The positive comments showed that patients valued good communication, good information and liked to be included in treatment decisions. The negative comments were much more detailed and often involved experiences during the lead up to diagnosis. There were problems with other aspects of the care. Prof. Wells found two overarching themes: the loss of confidence in the care system and the feeling of not being recognized as a person. According to Prof. Mary Wells the key lesson from the survey is that for patients every single encounter with the health care system matters. The care takers must try to communicate the reasons behind the different aspects of the care trajectories more effectively so that patients feel confident that they have been well-informed and their particular needs have been given due consideration.

Mary Wells is Professor at University of Stirling, UK.

This interview was recorded at EONS 2016 which took place in Dublin on October 17-18, 2016


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