By Dr. Eve Namisango
IAHPC Board Member; and
Research Manager, African Palliative Care Association
Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) are pivotal to maximize the impact of research on clinical care. Despite this need, there a lack of evidence on best practices for making this realistic in Africa.
To foster the establishment of best practices for engaging patients and their families in a PPIE initiative, the African Palliative Care Association partnered with the Uganda Cancer Society. Together, they organized two focus group discussions to which cancer patients were invited. These workshops, held at Mulago Guest House in Uganda in March this year, centered on the first engagement of health care providers with cancer patients.
The focus groups were stratified by sex (male and female). We identified adult cancer patients through the Uganda Cancer Institute based in Kampala, purposively selecting those who had lived with cancer for at least three months. We recruited adult cancer patients who were actively receiving care and willing to participate in a focus group discussion.
In all, 18 adult cancer patients participated in the focus groups: nine men and nine women. I led the focus group discussions, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. The focus group topic guide included:
Our findings indicated that PPIE is a platform that empowers patients to engage in research. Patients wished to be involved in the following areas:
Cancer patients expressed a preference for a quarterly schedule of workshops and panel discussions, as opposed to one-on-one meetings. The analysis revealed that training needs to focus on areas such as capacity building and empowerment for the cancer patients whose role is to participate in the PPIE.
To learn more about African Palliative Care Association,visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.