The Cancer Council Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services developed the VCPES to capture the car experiences of Victorian cancer patients. The VCPES was assessed and validated in 2 earlier pilot studies and included 9 care-related modules. We report on the results of the VCPES Chemotherapy Module implemented at Monash Health.
The survey comprised 48 closed and 5 free-text questions; assessing 4 areas including diagnosis and overall treatment, chemotherapy, Emergency Department experiences and demographics. English-speaking adult patients (aged ≥ 18 years) with solid tumour malignancies treated at Monash Health Chemotherapy Day Units were included.
Of 945 patients treated between January 2016 and December 2017, surveys were mailed to 607 eligible patients (excluding 252 deceased and 88 non-English speaking patients), with a response rate of 55% (n=333). Of the respondents, median age was 65 years (27-91), 72% were female, and the most common tumor types were breast (35%), gynaecological (15%), colorectal (13%) and lung (11%) cancers. Ninety-seven percent of patients reported being ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their overall care. Aspects of the patient experience that received predominantly positive feedback included provision of information regarding cancer and treatments and being treated with dignity and respect. Themes identified for improvement included the need for accessible and affordable parking, access to mental health services, and carer inclusion and supports. Forty-eight percent of patients presented to the Emergency Department at least once and of these, 60% required admission.
Implementation of the VCPES Chemotherapy Module at Monash Health has provided insight into the experience of cancer patients, and identified areas for improvement. Limitations include the exclusion of non-English speaking patients, and the lack of data on socioeconomic status and other aspects of care.