Exploring patients’ knowledge expectations during the illness trajectory
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Exploring patients’ knowledge expectations during the illness trajectory

Heli Vaartio-Rajalin Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Finland
Helena Leino-Kilpi Professor, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku and nurse manager, Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Turku, Finland
Pauli Puukka Senior planning officer, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Turku, Finland

Heli Vaartio-Rajalin and colleagues present findings from a study that explored what patients expect in terms of cancer information and education

Aim To explore patients’ knowledge expectations in relation to the content and meaning of information and to determine the personal, situational and clinical factors that affect patients’ knowledge expectations during the illness trajectory.

Method Focus group (n=37) and in-depth (n=16) interviews were conducted with a sample of current and former cancer patients. To test the credibility of the interview data and to identify factors that affect patients’ knowledge expectations, a survey was conducted with patients (n=332) at two university hospitals in Finland using the Expected Knowledge of Hospital Patients instrument.

Results After inductive content analysis of the focus group and interview data, six knowledge categories were identified: technical, process, action, secret, personalised (with sub-categories of individual, relevant and explanatory) and resource-promoting therapeutic (with sub-categories of encouraging, relative and calming). Statistical analysis of the survey data supported these categories and the identified personal, situational and clinical factors affecting patients’ knowledge expectations during the illness trajectory.

Conclusion Patient education focuses on the initial stages of illness and information about physiological facts. However, patients expect to receive individualised information about self-care and to be involved in the management of their disease as equal partners.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 4,30-38. doi: 10.7748/cnp2014.05.13.4.30.e1054

Correspondence

heli.vaartio-rajalin@novia.fi

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 November 2013

Accepted: 01 October 2014