A Cancer Patient Journey: Complete Review during Acute Treatment Phase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Cancer is a chronic illness with acute episodes lasting for years. Most cancer patients have coexisting comorbidities, which affect cancer treatment outcomes and make a shared care model for chronic diseases essential. There is a considerable gap between the achievable and delivered quality of care for cancer patients. Methods: We used a case study approach to examine the complexity of cancer management, from the perspective of one person's case as interpreted by the care team. It allowed the complexity of cancer management to retain its holistic and meaningful characteristics. We interviewed the patient, caregiver, primary care physician (PCP), and oncologist. Interviews were audio recorded and analyzed with ATLASti, qualitative statistical software. Participants also completed a basic demographic survey. Common themes were identified, analyzed, and discussed. Results: Main themes were lack of longitudinal relationship with PCP, communication barriers, and ambiguous health care provider roles. Communication barriers can be associated with the other two main themes. Conclusion: Our results showed that shared care for cancer management is lacking during the acute cancer treatment phase. Communication barriers between the PCP and oncologist along with lack of continuity of care and unclear role of the PCP are major contributors for fragmented cancer care in U.S. health care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • cancer
  • health
  • primary care
  • qualitative research
  • shared care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Policy


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