It is important that the process goes quickly, isn’t it?” A qualitative multi-country study of colorectal or lung cancer patients’ narratives of the timeliness of diagnosis and quality of care

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A multi-country nursing-led study by Malmstrom et al (2018) explored how the emphasis on early diagnosis and timely treatment is reflected in patient’s accounts of care, from the first suspicion of colorectal or lung cancer to their treatment.


The study involved 155 patients in Denmark, England and Sweden who were within six months of initial diagnosis with lung or colorectal cancer. The study sought to use patients’ accounts to obtain and extend understanding of potentially modifiable factors known to influence long-term cancer survival, including late presentation, delayed diagnosis and referral into specialist care. The authors concluded that healthcare professionals could be an important patient resource in providing reassurance and support about the timeliness of diagnosis or treatment.