Background: Cancer is considered as chronic condition, especially in the older people. Prevalence of cancer is especially high in the Nordic countries and Mediterranean countries. People with cancer are a common patient group in the healthcare system.
Introduction: User perspective, such as patient assessments of care and care quality are central in developing healthcare services. These assessments have a high value in time when there are reforms in social and healthcare services. One core principle in these reforms is patient-centeredness. Earlier studies have shown that older patients differ from other age-based patient groups in their assessments of care quality elements. They were reported to be more positive in their evaluations.
Aim: The aim of this study was to analyse cancer patients’ perceptions of patient-centered quality and individuality in care and trust in nurses, and to compare these perceptions between patients in the working age and older people. The research questions were: To what extent cancer patients perceive their care is patient-centered quality care, individualised and do they trust in nurses? Are there differences between older cancer patients and those in working age in their perceptions of person-centered quality of care, individuality in care and trust in nurses?
Materials and methods: The study employed a cross-sectional comparative survey design. Data were collected using questionnaires among hospitalised cancer patients (N = 876, n = 599, 68%) in four countries: Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Finland. The following instruments were used: The Oncology Patients perceptions of the Quality of Nursing Care Scale (OPPQNCS), the Individualised care Scale (ICS-patient) and Trust in Nurses. The data were divided into two sub-samples based on age (cut point 65 years): Older patients (n = 209) and patients in the working age (n = 387). Data were analysed statistically using cross-tabulation and chi-square statistics, or paired samples t-test.
Results: In this study cancer patients’ perceptions about individualization and coordination of care, support of individuality and perceived individuality in care were only moderate. Proficiency and responsiveness as part of care quality were reported well realised. Trust in nurses was strong. Older patients and those patients in the working age did not differ in their perceptions of either patient-centered quality of care, individualised care or trust in nurses.
Conclusions: The results of this study point out topics that need development in order to provide individualised and patient-centered nursing care. Contradictory to many earlier study results, age was not associated with cancer patients’ assessment.
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