Hospital-community interface: A qualitative study on patients with cancer and health care providers' experiences

Hanna Admi*, Ella Muller, Lea Ungar, Shmuel Reis, Michael Kaffman, Nurit Naveh, Efrat Shadmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with cancer must deal with complex and fragmented healthcare systems in addition to coping with the burden of their illness. To improve oncology treatment along the care continuum, the barriers and facilitators for streamlined oncologic care need to be better understood. Purpose: This study sought to gain insight into the hospital-community interface from the point of view of patients with cancer, their families, and health care providers on both sides of the interface i.e., the community and hospital settings. Methods and sample: The sample comprised 37 cancer patients, their family members, and 40 multidisciplinary health care providers. Twelve participants were interviewed individually and 65 took part in 10 focus groups. Based on the grounded theory approach, theoretical sampling and constant comparative analyses were used. Results: Two major concepts emerged: "ambivalence and confusion" and "overcoming healthcare system barriers." Ambiguity was expressed regarding the roles of health care providers in the community and in the hospital. We identified three main strategies by which these patients and their families overcame barriers within the system: patients and families became their own case managers; patients and health care providers used informal routes of communication; and nurse specialists played a significant role in managing care. Conclusions: The heavy reliance on informal routes of communication and integration by patients and providers emphasizes the urgent need for change in order to improve coordinating mechanisms for hospital-community oncologic care.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)528-535
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer patients
  • Care continuity
  • Health care system barriers
  • Hospital-community interface
  • Oncology health care providers
  • Qualitative design


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