Background Recent epidemiologic data show that Denmark has considerably poorer survival from common cancers than Sweden. This may be related to a lower awareness of cancer symptoms and longer patient intervals in Denmark than in Sweden. The aims of this study were to: 1) compare population awareness of three possible symptoms of cancer (unexplained lump or swelling, unexplained bleeding and persistent cough or hoarseness); 2) compare anticipated patient interval when noticing any breast changes, rectal bleeding and persistent cough; and 3) examine whether potential differences were noticeable in particular age groups or at particular levels of education in a Danish and Swedish population sample. Method Data were derived from Module 2 of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership. Telephone interviews using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure were conducted in 2011 among 3000 adults in Denmark and 3070 adults in Sweden. Results Danish respondents reported a higher awareness of two of three symptoms (i.e. unexplained lump or swelling and persistent cough or hoarseness) and a shorter anticipated patient interval for two of three symptoms studied (i.e. any breast changes and rectal bleeding) than Swedish respondents. Differences in symptom awareness and anticipated patient interval between these countries were most pronounced in highly educated respondents. Conclusion Somewhat paradoxically, the highest awareness of symptoms of cancer and the shortest anticipated patient intervals were found in Denmark, where cancer survival is lower than in Sweden. Thus, it appears that these differences in symptom awareness and anticipated patient interval do not help explain the cancer survival disparity between Denmark and Sweden.
Sweden and Denmark are neighbouring countries with similarities in culture, healthcare, and economics, yet notable differences in cancer statistics. A crucial component of primary prevention is high awareness of risk factors in the general public. We aimed to determine and compare awareness of risk factors for cancer between a Danish and a Swedish population sample, and to examine whether there are differences in awareness across age groups.
Data derive from Module 2 of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership. Telephone interviews were conducted with 3000 adults in Denmark and 3070 in Sweden using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure. Data reported here relate to awareness of 13 prompted risk factors for cancer. Prevalence ratios with 95 % confidence intervals were calculated to examine associations between country, age, and awareness of risk factors.
Over 90 % of respondents in both countries recognized smoking, use of sunbeds and ionizing radiation as risk factors for cancer. Lowest awareness (
Early care seeking is important for prognosis of malignant melanoma. Coping styles in decision-making to seek care can relate to prognosis since avoidant strategies could delay care seeking. The aim of this study was to compare self-reported coping styles in decision-making between men and women diagnosed with malignant melanoma. We used the Swedish version of the Melbourne Decision-Making Questionnaire to assess coping styles. Men generally scored higher in buck-passing while women and those living without a partner scored higher in hypervigilance. This knowledge could be used in the development of preventive programmes with intention to reach those who delay care seeking.
Self-management among people with T2D includes being responsible for attaining a blood sugar level within the normal range, eating healthy food, exercising and following prescriptions for medication, something that may need support. In rural areas, access to health care may be limited, and support from family members becomes important.
The aim of this study was to describe perceptions and associations of diabetes empowerment, self-management ability and needs of self-management support among people with T2D in a northern rural community of Sweden.
People with T2D (n = 159) living a rural municipality in northern Sweden answered the SWE-DES-23 questionnaire and additional questions concerning self-management and needs for self-management support.
A higher diabetes empowerment was associated with longer diabetes duration and support from healthcare professionals and relatives. Women rated a need for self-management support significantly higher than men did. Nonretired persons rated a significantly higher need for self-management support and a lower perception of support from healthcare professionals compared to retired persons. Cohabitant persons had a significantly higher perception of support from relatives and also estimated a higher need for relatives' involvement in clinical visits compared to persons living alone. Both the newly diagnosed and also those people with a diabetes duration of 10-15 years rated a higher need for group support. Higher self-awareness and readiness to change were apparent among people with short and long diabetes duration. Furthermore, self-management ability, support from healthcare professionals and from relatives and lastly diabetes duration was associated with diabetes empowerment.
Not only people newly diagnosed with T2D should be offered patient-centred group support, strengthening patient empowerment. For future, family-focused care and education and training in person-centred care among diabetes specialist nurses is recommended.
The emphasis on early diagnosis to improve cancer survival has been a key factor in the development of cancer pathways across Europe. The aim of this analysis was to explore how the emphasis on early diagnosis and timely treatment is reflected in patient's accounts of care, from the first suspicion of colorectal or lung cancer to their treatment in Denmark, England and Sweden.
We recruited 155 patients in Denmark, England and Sweden who were within six months of being diagnosed with lung or colorectal cancer. Data were collected via semi-structured narrative interviews and analysed using a thematic approach.
Participants' accounts of quality of care were closely related to how quickly (or not) diagnosis, treatment and/or healthcare processes went. Kinetic metaphors as a description of care (such as treadmill) could be interpreted positively as participants were willing to forgo some degree of control and accept disruption to their lives to ensure more timely care. Drawing on wider cultural expectations of the benefits of diagnosing and treating cancer quickly, some participants were concerned that the waiting times between interventions might allow time for the cancer to grow.
Initiatives emphasising the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment are reflected in the ways some patients experience their care. However, these accounts were open to further contextualisation about what speed of healthcare processes meant for evaluating the quality of their care. Healthcare professionals could therefore be an important patient resource in providing reassurance and support about the timeliness of diagnosis or treatment.
The Melbourne Decision-Making Questionnaire (MDMQ) is an attempt to capture and measure coping strategies that people use. The instrument had not previously been translated into Swedish. The aim of this study was to evaluate validity and reliability of the Swedish version of the MDMQ.
A Swedish translation was performed and back-translated. A group of five pilot readers evaluated content validity. The translated questionnaire was tested among 735 patients, healthcare workers, healthcare students and teachers. A parallel analysis (PA), exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed.
An initial EFA with a four-factor solution showed a low concordance with the original 22-item four-factor model with a very low Cronbach's alpha in one of the dimensions. However, a second EFA with a three-factor solution showed a good model fit for the Swedish translation of the Melbourne Decision-Making Questionnaire (MDMQ-S) with a satisfactory Cronbach's alpha. A CFA showed a goodness of fit after deleting six items.
After testing the MDMQ-S, we found support for validity and reliability of the instrument. We found the 16-item version of MDMQ-S to be satisfactory concerning the subscales vigilance, procrastination and buck-passing. However, we found no support that the hypervigilance dimension could be measured by the MDMQ-S.
To explore patients' experiences of contact and interaction with healthcare professionals (HCPs) during the diagnostic process of melanoma.
In Sweden, most patients with suspected skin lesions seek care at the primary level of services in the first instance. Previous research describes the diagnostic process as a complex journey with uncertainty. Nonetheless, the importance of contact and interaction between patient and HCPs during the diagnostic process is rarely explored.
This study adopted a qualitative design in which semi-structured interviews were conducted and the COREQ-checklist for qualitative studies employed (EQUATOR guidelines).
A sample of 30 patients (15 women, 15 men) diagnosed with melanoma was included. Secondary analysis of interviews was carried out using qualitative content analysis.
One theme emerged: Wishing to be perceived as a capable and resourceful person that consisted of three categories: (a) The need of being valued, (b) The need of being informed and (c) The need of taking actions.
Our results suggest that patients wish to be valued as capable and resourceful persons as well as to be provided with honest and sufficient information about the diagnosis and subsequent procedures. By fulfilling these wishes, HCPs can involve patients in the diagnostic process and reduce patients' uncertainty. A need of supportive and accessible health care to manage the diagnostic process and to reduce patients' struggle for care was also identified.
Patients are satisfied when health care is organised in a patient-/person-centred manner, that is, in accordance with patients' needs, avoiding gatekeeping, and when HCPs interact respectfully in encounters. Accessible HCPs during the diagnostic process of melanoma are required to inform, support and navigate patients within the healthcare system and through their diagnostic journey.
The aim of this study was to further explore expressions of existential experiences by patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma (MM).
Semi-structured interviews were performed consecutively after diagnosis among 30 patients with MM. The methodological approach was inspired by Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy.
The analysis of expressions of existential experiences after having been diagnosed with malignant melanoma revealed that it is an existential process that people go through, beginning with feelings of suddenly becoming groundless at the time of the diagnosis, including being empty and in a vacuum, being in chaos and uncertainty and being confronted with one's own death. Next theme searching for solid ground included striving to understand what lies ahead, striving to find a balance in life - fighting, hoping, going on living and striving to prioritize family. The last theme creating islands of solid ground when living with cancer included understanding what is meaningful in life, living in the moment - seizing the day and keeping watch on the body.
On being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, people go through a process where many questions emerge, including an existential turmoil, which health professionals should be aware of to provide these patients with sufficient support.