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Engaging Older Adults With Cancer and Their Caregivers to Set Research Priorities Through Cancer and Aging Research Discussion Sessions

Kristen R. Haase
Margaret A. Tompson
Steven Hall
Schroder Sattar
Shahid Ahmed
ONF 2021, 48(6), 613-622 DOI: 10.1188/21.ONF.613-622

Purpose: To report on the perspectives of older adults (aged older than 65 years) with cancer and their caregivers who participated in patient-oriented research priority–setting activities called the Cancer and Aging Research Discussion Sessions.

Participants & Setting: 35 older adults and caregivers participated in three public meetings and follow-up interviews.

Methodologic Approach: Qualitative descriptive.

Findings: There was clear consensus from participants on research priorities related to two key areas: enhanced communication and tailored cancer support for older adults, encompassing the following five research priorities: (a) improved patient–provider communication, (b) technology-based solutions, (c) desire for enhanced patient education strategies addressing multimorbidity and aging-sensitive needs, (d) tangible and accessible survivorship supports, and (e) support for caregivers and caregiver needs.

Implications for Nursing: Future research should focus on addressing age-related disparities in cancer care communication and support. By capitalizing on older adults’ interest in research engagement, effective solutions can be cocreated to improve cancer experiences for older adults and their caregivers.

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