To understand Victorian cancer patients’ experiences of supportive care for each of the five domains (physical, practical, social, information, and psychological) described in the Victorian Government supportive care policy¹.
The 2019 statewide Cancer Patient Experience Survey included questions about the patients’ entire cancer care journey from diagnosis, through to follow-up care. Data was weighted by age, gender and hospital.
A supportive care scorecard, based on 24 survey questions that best align with the five domains, was developed to measure patients’ experience of supportive care. The scorecard presents the proportion of patients who answered each of these questions with a positive response. The domain score reflects the proportion of positive responses to all questions in that domain. An overall supportive care score represents the statewide average score across all five domains.
4,999 cancer patients from 39 public hospitals across Victoria participated in the survey (RR 47%). 91% of respondents received cancer treatment from a Victorian public hospital in 2018.
The average statewide supportive care score across the five domains was 75%. Analysis by domain suggests that at the statewide level, health services are most effectively meeting the information (positive score of 82%), physical (80%) and psychological (77%) needs of patients. Practical (69%) and social support (66%) scores, were significantly below the overall supportive care score suggesting there is room for improvement in these domains of care.
Comprehensive supportive care is fundamental to delivering quality cancer care. The experience, preferences and needs of the patient, their family and carers should determine the type and level of support provided by cancer services. This scorecard value adds to the patient experience survey and the results will inform the new Victorian Cancer Plan priorities for service improvement.