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Cancer patients to write journals for research

People with cancer may be able to participate in journaling as part of a new research project.

Wesley Medical Research (WMR) announced the project on World Cancer Day. It aims to improve cancer patient experiences.

The research team, from The Wesley Hospital, said it hoped the project would provide insights to identify problems and gaps in service quality and delivery.

Carlie Nielsen, the chief project investigator and a cancer care co-ordinator at The Wesley Hospital, said the project would actively support patients in participating in research. “The results will increase our responsiveness to patient input and needs and help us promote ongoing improvements in our service delivery to both patients and the community.”

About 20 patients newly diagnosed with cancer will be recruited for the project and asked to complete unstructured journals for three months. "We're really asking them to journal anything that is good or bad, give us any thoughts on what we can do to improve their stay," Nielsen said, adding the team would be looking out for anything they could do to better the service.

Karen Arrold, a researcher at WMR and a clinical nurse manager in the medical oncology unit at The Wesley Hospital, said the team wanted to increase patient involvement in shaping future changes to service delivery in oncology at the hospital.

"We're always looking for best practice, we're always trying to benchmark against other facilities that run a similar service," Arnold said. "To be able to participate in this research project that the WMR has allowed us to do is a great thing because it allows us to be seen as in the forefront of having patient involvement and trying to include everybody in research."

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