Triangulation of qualitative findings from patients and healthcare professionals to inform the design of an online resource for patients with head and neck cancer

Cherith Semple, Rosie Kelly, Peter Gordon, Ruth Thompson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Transforming healthcare delivery means placing greater emphasis on shared care and decision-making, centred on patients’ values, needs and preferences. The internet has acted as a likely catalyst and/or facilitator in this process, with proliferation during the global pandemic. A recent scoping review indicated a lack of high-quality evidence-based online resources for head and neck cancer patients (HNC), with a paucity of end-user involvement during development. To inform the co-design of an online resource for HNC patients, both patients’ and healthcare professionals’ perspectives were sought on content required and key design features.

Qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews was employed with patients (n=10) and three focus groups with healthcare professionals (n=21) to understand their perceptions and preferences on content, issues to be addressed and key design elements of an online resource to promote patient decision-making and coping with HNC and its treatment effects. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse both data sets, which were then triangulated.

Three key themes were identified: (1): Key objectives and constructs underpinning the online resource, (2): Important content to incorporate within the online resource, and (3): Design preferences for the online resource. Participants indicated a preference for online content to be mapped across the key landmarks of the cancer trajectory (at diagnosis, during and after treatment); with tailoring and layering of information; presented through a biopsychosocial lens, incorporating patient experience narratives, to aid contextualising of information.

This research highlights the need to co-produce online resources with key expert stakeholders, integrating factual information alongside patient experience narratives. Incorporating patients’ narrative would appear to be a beneficial source of information to contextualise patient experience, whilst empowering and educating patients to become more proactive in decision-making, facilitate self-management and improve health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 Nov 2022


  • head and neck cancer
  • qualitative research
  • online resource
  • Triangulation


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