Understanding delayed diagnosis of oral cancer
1st Supervisor: Dr Suzanne Scott
2nd Supervisor: tbc
Description of project
Oral cancer has good prognosis when detected at an early stage. However, up to half of patients are diagnosed with advanced lesions, when 5-year survival rates are as low as 20%. In order to develop successful methods to aid early detection and presentation of oral cancer it is essential to understand the reasons for delayed diagnosis. The ‘model of pathways to treatment’ is a recently developed framework for the study of healthcare utilization. It posits four time intervals: Appraisal; Help-seeking; Diagnostic; and Pre-Treatment. In the appraisal interval, bodily changes will be appraised and responses other than seeking help (e.g. self-medication) may be initiated. In the ‘help-seeking interval’ the decision to seek help is made and arrangements to do so are put in place. In the ‘diagnostic interval’ the formal diagnosis is made. This may involve referrals, separate appointments and investigations. The ‘pre-treatment interval’ describes the time between formal diagnosis and initiation of treatment. Appraisal, help-seeking, diagnostic and pre-treatment intervals will be influenced by patient, health care provider and health system factors as well as disease-related factors. The objectives of the proposed doctoral research are to apply the model of pathways to treatment to delayed diagnosis of oral cancer, by analysing the patient pathways using quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, and making comparisons across different healthcare systems.
Duration of project: 3 years
Contact for further information:
Dr Suzanne Scott
Research Topic: Social & Behavioural Science
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