Opportunities - Patient Experience of Lung Cancer: A Qualitative Study

Patient Experience of Lung Cancer: A Qualitative Study

University of Calgary


Understanding patient experience is necessary to provide high-quality person-centered care as well as improve care and service delivery. The Person-centered Radiation Oncology Service Enhancement (PROSE) program is a radiation oncology department-wide initiative aiming to improve the care patients receive, specific to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC). One key finding from a previous PROSE team patient experience study indicated that lung patients consistently reported the least positive experiences across their radiation therapy encounters compared to other tumour groups, even though patients of all tumour sites are exposed to the same clinical system during radiotherapy. Certain tumour groups, including breast, prostate, and gastrointestinal (GI), reported the most favorable patient experiences overall. Generally, patients diagnosed with GI cancer tend to experience similar diagnostic testing and processes with lung cancer as well as occurrence in both sexes.

Although some important factors of patient experience are identified in the literature for individuals with lung cancer, there still lacks specific indications as to why patients with lung cancer often report less favorable patient experiences compared to other tumor groups. The existing literature does not help us to understand what the PROSE program can do to specifically improve the experiences of patients with lung cancer in the radiation department.

This qualitative study  aims to better understand the experiences of TBCC patients with lung cancer undergoing radiotherapy and the underlying reasons why they may experience the clinical cancer care system differently from other tumour groups. Semi-structured interviews will help in obtaining more precise data from patients to better understand their complex experiences, including their cancer diagnosis and treatment, the care they received, as well as highlighting challenges they experienced.

This opportunity is looking for patient partners, 18 years and older, diagnosed with lung cancer and/or gastrointestinal cancer and receiving/received radiotherapy at the Tom Baker Cancer Center (TBCC). Patient partners will work as equal members of the research team and contribute their valuable lived experience to inform and guide the study process and dissemination.


Roles and Responsibilities

Patient partners will be included as valued and equal members of the research team and work together on the following activities: interview guide, pilot interview using interview guide, recruitment strategy, data analysis, and dissemination of results. No previous experience of health research is necessary. The research team will provide ongoing support and training for those eligible and wanting to contribute.


Time Commitment

This opportunity would start as soon as possible, however there may be delays in different activities due to our current situation with COVID-19. For instance, data collection will not begin until fall so activities following that (data analysis and dissemination) will not start until after data collection.

Meetings will be via video/teleconference (likely Zoom). We will likely have 1 meeting/month with the partners of 1 hour long each. This is in addition to an initial meeting with the Patient Partner Lead.


Reimbursement will be offered for any travel or other related expenses to participate in this opportunity.

Compensation will be offered as per the AbSPORU Patient Partner Appreciation Guidelines.


Contact Information

To learn more about this opportunity, or to apply please connect with


Sandra Zelinsky



250.706.8654 (text or call)