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Chemotherapy decision-making in advanced lung cancer: a prospective qualitative study

Nelson, Annmarie ORCID:, Longo, Mirella ORCID:, Byrne, Anthony, Sivell, Stephanie ORCID:, Noble, Simon ORCID:, Lester, Jason, Radley, Lesley, Jones, David, Sampson, Catherine ORCID: and Anagnostou, Despina ORCID: 2020. Chemotherapy decision-making in advanced lung cancer: a prospective qualitative study. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 10.1136/bmjspcare-2020-002395

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Objective To study how treatment decisions are made alongside the lung cancer clinical pathway. Methods A prospective, multicentre, multimethods, five-stage, qualitative study. Mediated discourse, thematic, framework and narrative analysis were used to analyse the transcripts. Results 51 health professionals, 15 patients with advanced lung cancer, 15 family members and 18 expert stakeholders were recruited from three UK NHS trusts. Multidisciplinary team (MDT) members constructed treatment recommendations around patient performance status, pathology, clinical information and imaging. Information around patients’ social context, needs and preferences were limited. The provisional nature of MDTs treatment recommendations was not always linked to future discussions with the patient along the pathway, that is, patients’ interpretation of their prognosis, treatment discussions occurring prior to seeing the oncologist. This together with the rapid disease trajectory placed additional stress on the oncologist, who had to introduce a different treatment option from that recommended by the MDT or patient’s expectations. Palliative treatment was not referred to explicitly as such, due to its potential for confusion. Patients were unaware of the purpose of each consultation and did not fully understand the non-curative intent of treatment pathways. Patients’ priorities were framed around social and family needs, such as being able to attend a family event. Conclusion Missed opportunities for information giving, affect both clinicians and patients; the pathway for patients with non-small cell lung cancer focuses on clinical management at the expense of patient-centred care. Treatment decisions are a complex process and patients draw conclusions from healthcare interactions prior to the oncology clinic, which prioritises aggressive treatment and influences decisions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use.
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-435X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 June 2020
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 00:08

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