This PhD is part funded through the Knowledge and Economy Skills Scholarship 2 Programme which you can find out more about here
The proposed project will firstly use existing data regarding the psychosocial needs of cancer patients obtained through our previous study using an 84 item needs assessment survey, the CancerCAN to stimulate face-to-face discussions with people affected by cancer (patients, family members, health care professionals). These group discussions will review the strengths and weaknesses of this survey tool in order to help inform the research teams development of a short-version patient needs assessment, the CancerCAN-20 that can then be trialled in clinical practice. The CancerCAN-20 will assess the most common, salient and unmet needs of people with cancer at various stages in the experience of the illness and its treatment and should be acceptable to patients and healthcare professionals alike. In the second phase the draft tool will be administered to 40 people undergoing cancer treatment in the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre. This small feasibility study will explore its usefulness to health care professionals in making decisions about supportive care, compared to an age and illness stage matched group of patients not assessed using this tool. If the needs assessment tool proves acceptable to patients and useful to health care professionals. Futher funding will be sought to test it more fully in a large trial of patient outcomes over at least one year following diagnosis, comparing those who receive the CancerCAN-20 and those who do not. Our expectation (hypothesis) is that use of this tool will lead to better matched care and thus greater patient wellbeing.