Background: More colon cancer patients are expected to fully recover after treatment due to earlier detection of cancer and improvements in general health- and cancer care. The objective of this study was to gather participants' experiences with full recovery in the different treatment phases of multimodal treatment and to identify their needs during these phases. The second aim was to propose and evaluate possible solutions for unmet needs by the introduction of eHealth. Methods: A qualitative study based on two focus group discussions with 22 participants was performed. The validated Supportive Care Needs Survey and the Cancer Treatment Survey were used to form the topic list. The verbatim transcripts were analyzed with Atlas.ti. 7th version comprising open, axial and selective coding. The guidelines of the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) were used. Results: Experiences with the treatment for colon cancer were in general positive. Most important unmet needs were 'receiving information about the total duration of side effects', 'receiving information about the minimum amount of chemo needed to overall survival' and 'receiving a longer aftercare period (with additional attention for psychological guidance)'. More provision of information online, a chat function with the oncological nurse specialist via a website, and access to scientific articles regarding the optimal dose of chemotherapy were often mentioned as worthwhile additions to the current health care for colon cancer. Conclusions: Many of the unmet needs of colon cancer survivors occur during the adjuvant treatment phase and thereafter. To further optimize recovery and cancer care, it is necessary to have more focus on these unmet needs. More attention for identifying patients' problems and side-effects during chemotherapy; and identifying patients' supportive care needs after finishing chemotherapy are necessary. For some of these needs, eHealth in the form of blended care will be a possible solution.
Den Bakker, C. M., Schaafsma, F. G., Huirne, J. A. F., Consten, E. C. J., Stockmann, H. B. A. C., Rodenburg, C. J., … Anema, J. R. (2018). Cancer survivors’ needs during various treatment phases after multimodal treatment for colon cancer - Is there a role for eHealth? BMC Cancer, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-5105-z