"Currently flying blind" Stakeholders' perceptions of implementing statewide population-based cancer staging at diagnosis into the Western Australian Cancer Registry: a rapid qualitative process evaluation of the WA Cancer Staging Project

Stephanie Smith, Richard W. Trevithick, James Smith, Li Pung, Karen Taylor, Ninh Ha, Kevin E.K. Chai, Cristiana Garcia Gewerc, Rachael Moorin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Cancer stage at diagnosis is essential for understanding cancer outcomes, guiding cancer control activities and healthcare services, and enabling benchmarking nationally and internationally. Yet, most cancer registries in Australia do not routinely collect this data. This study explored key stakeholders' perceptions of implementing cancer staging utilising Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning algorithms within the Western Australian Cancer Registry. Methods: Perceptions of key breast and colorectal cancer stakeholders, including registry staff, clinicians, consumers, data scientists, biostatisticians, data management, healthcare staff, and health researchers, were collected. Prospective and retrospective qualitative proformas at two-time points of the Western Australian Cancer Staging Project were employed. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to guide data collection, analysis and interpretation embedded in a Participatory Action Research approach. Data analysis also incorporated Framework Analysis and an adapted version of grading qualitative data using a visual traffic light labelling system to highlight the levels of positivity, negativity, and implementation concern. Results: Twenty-nine pre-proformas and 18 post-proformas were completed online via REDCap. The grading and visual presentation of barriers and enablers aided interpretation and reviewing predicted intervention outcomes. Of the selected constructs, complexity (the perceived difficulty of the intervention) was the strongest barrier and tension for change (the situation needing change) was the strongest enabler. Implementing cancer staging into the Western Australian Cancer Registry was considered vital. Benefits included improved knowledge and understanding of various outcomes (e.g., treatment received as per Optimum Care Pathways) and benchmarking. Barriers included compatibility issues with current systems/workflows, departmental/higher managerial support, and future sustainment. Conclusions: The findings aid further review of data gaps, additional cancer streams, standardising cancer staging and future improvements. The study offers an adapted version of a rapid qualitative data collection and analytic approach for establishing barriers and enablers. The findings may also assist other population-based cancer registries considering collecting cancer stage at diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number758
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023

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