Perceived levels of collaboration between cancer patients and their providers during radiation therapy

Charlotte T. Lee, Jason C. Wong


This study described the patterns within collaborative relationships between patients and health care professionals during radiation therapy (RT). A one-time survey was administered to cancer patients (N=130) receiving RT at one Ontario cancer centre. The key study variables were collaboration between patients and health care providers and participants’ well-being. Participants reported higher levels of collaboration with nurses, radiation oncologists, and radiation therapists than with dietitians, social workers and spiritual support personnel [F(5, 760) = 430.42,  p < .001]. Participants with more symptom distress collaborated more with some health care professionals than those with less distress, but this was only true for collaboration with social workers (p < .05) and dietitians (p < .05). We postulated that participants did not require services from dietitians and social workers when symptom burden was low. Future directions regarding integration of patient-centred measures (e.g., self-management education) into interprofessional models for cancer care are discussed.

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