QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

Qualitative research aims to gain an in-depth understanding of peoples’ perspectives and experiences, in order to provide better services.

RESEARCH PORTFOLIO

Evaluation and program planning (Elsevier) Seeing voices of health disparity: Evaluating arts projects as influence processes Janet Parsons, Lineke Heus, Catherine Moravac
Journal of Sexual Health ‘There is no love here anyway.’ Sexuality, identity and HIV prevention in an African sub-culture in Amsterdam, The Netherlands’ – By Lineke Heus
Journal of Interprofessional Care “Healthcare providers’ perspectives on an interprofessional education intervention for promoting community re-engagement post stroke” Jocelyne M. McKellar, Donna Cheung, Mandy Lowe, Jacqueline Willems, Lineke Heus and Janet Parsons
Topics in stroke “Community Re-engagement and Interprofessional Education: The Impact on Health Care Providers and Persons Living With Stroke” Donna Cheung, Jocelyne McKellar, Janet Parsons, Mandy Lowe, Jacqueline Willems, Lineke Heus, and Scott Reeves
The art of Public Health Conference (UoT, 2010) “What’s art got to do with it? A collaborative film-based research and knowledge translation project with adults living with mental health challenges.” Isabel Freyszberg, Lineke Heus, Janet Parsons, Phuong Nyugen
Designing a multifaceted survivorship care plan to meet the information and communication needs of breast cancer patients and their family physicians: results of a qualitative pilot study. Haq R, Heus L, Baker NA, Dastur D, Leung FH, Leung E, Li B, Vu K, Parsons JA.

BACKGROUND: Following the completion of treatment and as they enter the follow-up phase, breast cancer patients (BCPs) often recount feeling ‘lost in transition’, and are left with many questions concerning how their ongoing care and monitoring for recurrence will be managed. Family physicians (FPs) also frequently report feeling ill-equipped to provide follow-up care to BCPs. In this three-phase qualitative pilot study we designed, implemented and evaluated a multi-faceted survivorship care plan (SCP) to address the information needs of BCPs at our facility and of their FPs. METHODS: In Phase 1 focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 35 participants from three stakeholder groups (BCPs, FPs and oncology specialist health care providers (OHCPs)), to identify specific information needs. An SCP was then designed based on these findings, consisting of both web-based and paper-based tools (Phase 2). For Phase 3, both sets of tools were subsequently evaluated via focus groups and interviews with 26 participants. Interviews and focus groups were audio taped, transcribed and content analysed for emergent themes and patterns. RESULTS: In Phase 1 patients commented that web-based, paper-based and human resources components were desirable in any SCP. Patients did not focus exclusively on the post-treatment period, but instead spoke of evolving needs throughout their cancer journey. FPs indicated that any tools to support them must distill important information in a user-friendly format. In Phase 2, a pilot SCP was subsequently designed, consisting of both web-based and paper-based materials tailored specifically to the needs of BCPs as well as FPs. During Phase 3 (evaluation) BCPs indicated that the SCP was effective at addressing many of their needs, and offered suggestions for future improvements. Both patients and FPs found the pilot SCP to be an improvement from the previous standard of care. Patients perceived the quality of the BCP-FP relationship as integral to their comfort with FPs assuming follow-up responsibilities. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot multi-component SCP shows promise in addressing the information needs of BCPs and the FPs who care for them. Next steps include refinement of the different SCP components, further evaluation (including usability testing), and planning for more extensive implementation. Free Full Text Link

Patients’ experiences following local-regional recurrence of thyroid cancer: a qualitative study. Misra S, Meiyappan S, Heus L, Freeman J, Rotstein L, Brierley JD, Tsang RW, Rodin G, Ezzat S, Goldstein DP, Sawka AM. Journal of Surgical Oncology.

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: The psychosocial impact of local-regional thyroid cancer recurrence is not known. The aim of this study was to explore thyroid cancer patients’ experiences relating to diagnosis and treatment of local-regional disease recurrence. METHODS: We conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with survivors of differentiated thyroid cancer who underwent neck reoperation for recurrent disease. Participants were recruited from the clinical practices of thyroid surgeons and endocrinologists at University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospitals in Toronto, Ontario. Participant interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative methods. Saturation of themes was achieved. RESULTS: Local-regional recurrence of thyroid cancer was associated with significant psychological distress. Confidence in healthcare providers as well as psychosocial support from family or social relations, were helpful in coping with disease recurrence. After recovery from treatment, post-traumatic growth was reported. However, questions and worry about the risk for future recurrence lingered at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Local-regional recurrence of thyroid cancer has a significant psychosocial impact on patients, and support needs are heightened throughout the experience. Healthcare providers should strive to ensure that medical information and psychosocial needs of such patients are met, throughout the treatment experience, as well as at follow-up.