How can we improve the quality of cancer treatment? The new report “Patient-perceived quality in cancer care” from All.Can Norway is trying to better define what the term “patient-perceived quality” means in cancer care, and thus, brings a valuable contribution to clarifying this important concept – with input from the patients themselves, health personnel and their families.

The report was presented at the All.Can International Roundtable in Brussels: “The path towards efficient cancer care: Global challenges, local solutions”. 

Through a broad collaboration across patient organisations, healthcare professionals and industry, All.Can Norway has diligently worked to put “prehabilitation” and “safe discharge” on the agenda, with the ultimate goal of achieving better and more effective cancer care for those affected by cancer. 

The new report is based on the outputs of focus groups surveys conducted among three key stakeholder categories: patients, their families and healthcare professionals.

The aim of the report is to bring a qualitative contribution to establishing and clarifying the ‘patient-perceived quality’ concept, and to achieve this, All.Can Norway believes it’s important to start with seeking the input of the three groups that are thought to be the closest to the answers they seek , as well as the perceived quality in practice. 

“Patient-perceived quality of care is an important quality dimension in cancer care but must be clearly defined” stated Dr. Geir Arne Larsen in the report’s foreword. He is the head of the cancer development programme at Akershus University Hospital (Ahus) – one of the largest hospitals in Norway. 

Dr. Larsen believes that All.Can Norway’s input contributes to the better adaptation of health services to patients’ needs. “All.Can Norway’s contribution to this work is important because this is a voice that represents the interests and needs of cancer patients. By participating in the political decision-making processes and collaborating with decision-makers, health workers and other stakeholders, All.Can Norway ensures that cancer patients’ needs are included in the important health decisions”, says Dr. Larsen. 

Key findings of the report 

The report points out three interesting tendencies that stand out in the conversations with the focus groups. These are important inputs that must be taken into account in any future work towards improving the patient-perceived quality of cancer care:


  • It fails particularly during transitions – healthcare software mismatch, lack of continuity of treatment.
  • Being out of the hospital’ is one of the toughest transitions.
  • The information and follow-up is good when we look at it with an ‘insider perspective’ , yet it is perceived as a heavier subject when we look at it with an ‘outsider perspective’ 


  • The participants feel that tumour-directed treatment is well taken care of, but not the same attention is paid to the mental health of the patient.
  • Next of kin usually becomes the advocate of the patient, as well as their carer.
  • Quality of life is about more than ‘a wig and the patient pathway progress.’


  • The focus groups highlighted various therapeutic differences.
  • Geographical differences are causing hospitals to adopt different practices.
  • Late effects and side effects are prioritised differently.

Full report can be downloaded below.