The aim of this study is to describe the top 10 most important features of ideal cancer care as identified by cancer patients receiving radiotherapy in Australia and Japan.
Participants were adults with a diagnosis of cancer who were attending a radiotherapy appointment at a participating Japanese or Australian clinic. The patients were sampled consecutively. Patients attending for their first appointment were excluded. Participants were asked to complete a paper and pencil survey asking about optimal care based on 10 indicators of patient centered care (PCC).
131 Japanese and 104 Australian patients participated in the study. Top 3 most prevalent features of ideal cancer care perceived as “very important” by Australian patients are 1. Staff at the hospital who make sure I receive the treatment I am meant to have during my treatment (95%) , 2. Doctors at the hospital who explain me the long-term side effects of each treatment option (87%) and 3. Doctors at the hospital who explain me all of the treatments I could have (86%) .Ones by Japanese patients were 1. A short waiting time from the first visit with the cancer doctor to getting the cancer diagnosis (23%), 2. A short waiting time from getting the cancer diagnosis to starting the first cancer treatment (22%) and 3. The treatment I receive at the hospital being close to where I live (21%). Of Top 10 Australian features, five are included in treatment delivery, three are in treatment decision making and others are in timely care, respectful communication and follow-up care domain in 10 indicators of PCC. Of Japanese ones, each two are included in timely care, equitable care, treatment decision making, patient preferences and values and treatment delivery domain.
There are differences in perceptions of optimal care between Australian and Japanese patients.