Should we? Could we? Feasibility of interventions to support prevention or early diagnosis of future cancer following urgent referral: A qualitative study
Evans REC., Waller J., Nicholson BD., Round T., Gildea C., Smith D., Scott SE.
Objective: This study investigated perspectives of healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the feasibility of giving additional support to patients after cancer is not found following urgent referral. We sought to understand key facilitators or barriers to offering such support. Methods: A convenience sample of primary and secondary care healthcare professionals (n = 36) participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Framework Analysis, inductively and deductively, guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework. Results: HCPs indicated that support should be offered if proven to be efficacious. It needs to avoid potential negative consequences such as patient anxiety and information overload. HCPs were more hesitant about whether support could feasibly be offered, due to resource restrictions and perceived remit of the urgent pathway for suspected cancer. Conclusion: HCP support after discharge from urgent cancer referral pathways needs to be resource efficient, developed in collaboration with patients and should have proven efficacy. Development of brief interventions for delivery by a range of staff, and use of technology could mitigate barriers to implementation. Practice implications: Changes to discharge procedures to provide information, endorsement or direction to services could offer much needed support. Additional support would need to overcome logistical challenges and address limited capacity.