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TBD: Using patient engagement and qualitative research to understand the patient value story for breast cancer treatments.

Poster Presenter

      Chi Pakarinen

      • Programme Lead
      • Medipace Ltd.
        United Kingdom


To gather a deep understanding of the perceived benefits and impacts of a novel radiotherapy technique when compared with current practice. To characterise how treatment differences affected breast cancer patients’ and care partners’ experiences as they lived their lives during cancer and beyond.


Characterisation of the relevant breast cancer patient community using desk research and using this to form a patient-led Working Group who co-created study design, delivery methods and results interpretation. 30 depth interviews undertaken with early breast cancer patients and care partners.


The depth interviews add characterisation and key understanding to previous quantitative research findings for early-stage breast cancer patients’ experiences with either Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT) or External-Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT). At the time of submission, analysis is still ongoing and therefore detailed insights into patient experience pathways and the consequences of these will be shared during the conference but cannot be included now. The results will provide the depth of understanding to explain, with confidence, why differences exist between the perceived benefits and impacts of these two treatments. They will outline what the lived experiences were, how and why these changed people’s perceptions, quality of life, and daily practicalities. They will also identify where care was considered to be high quality, why this was, and what key interactions and factors drove this excellence from their perspectives. Conversely, participants will share their thoughts about what could have improved their experience and minimised any discomfort or difficulties experienced. A core component of the data analysis in this study includes discussion of the emerging themes with members of the patient-led Working Group. Therefore, in a dedicated session, findings will be presented, discussed, and validated by patients and a care partner. There will be an emphasis to reflect on how patient experience and outcomes can be further improved.


The results from this study add an essential layer of understanding to explain previous quality of life outcomes. They provide insights into why elements of treatment were considered to be of a particularly high standard by patients and care partners themselves, as well as where experiences could have improved. These insights and the patient experience pathways produced provide healthcare workers and the life sciences industry with the knowledge needed to be able to build on key areas of excellence whilst improving areas considered impactful for patients in current practice. IORT currently does not have full National Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) approval for widespread use across the UK’s National health Service (NHS). Since the study is set up to compare and contrast experiences with the two forms of radiotherapy, the findings may also bring clarity and understanding on how to roll-out and adopt IORT in future breast cancer treatment pathways.