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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2014, Article ID 429149, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/429149
Research Article

The Experience of Melanoma Follow-Up Care: An Online Survey of Patients in Australia

1School of Population Health, Level 11 Terrace Towers, 178 North Terrace, The University of Adelaide, P.O. Box DX 650 205, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
2Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

Received 12 October 2014; Accepted 7 November 2014; Published 19 November 2014

Academic Editor: Mark Lebwohl

Copyright © 2014 Janine Mitchell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Investigating patients’ reports on the quality and consistency of melanoma follow-up care in Australia would assist in evaluating if this care is effective and meeting patients’ needs. The objective of this study was to obtain and explore the patients’ account of the technical and interpersonal aspects of melanoma follow-up care received. An online survey was conducted to acquire details of patients’ experience. Participants were patients treated in Australia for primary melanoma. Qualitative and quantitative data about patient perceptions of the nature and quality of their follow-up care were collected, including provision of melanoma specific information, psychosocial support, and imaging tests received. Inconsistencies were reported in the provision and quality of care received. Patient satisfaction was generally low and provision of reassurance from health professionals was construed as an essential element of quality of care. “Gaps” in follow-up care for melanoma patients were identified, particularly provision of adequate psychosocial support and patient education. Focus on strategies for greater consistency in the provision of support, information, and investigations received, may generate a cost dividend which could be reinvested in preventive and supportive care and benefit patient well-being.