IPAAC Report WP4 : Cancer control policy interview survey
The Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC) Joint Action brings together 24 Associated Partners (with Affiliated Entities, 44 partners) across Europe whose main objectives are to build upon deliverables of the CANCON Joint Action and to implement innovative approaches to cancer control. A Roadmap on Implementation and Sustainability of Cancer Control Actions will be the main deliverable of this Joint Action.
The iPAAC Work Package 4 (WP4), led by the Belgian Cancer Centre of Sciensano, visited 28 European countries in order to collect examples of innovative approaches for implementing cancer control policies which will to be shared in the Roadmap.
As providing an exhaustive list of the cancer policies in each country was not feasible, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the aim to identify those initiatives that were considered of interest for sharing with other countries by the local stakeholders (i.e., health advisers, healthcare providers, scientists, civil society representatives and healthcare providers). Five domains were prioritized for the discussion: health promotion and prevention; cancer screening; diagnostics and treatment (innovative therapies); cancer care (including rehabilitation and end of life care) and cancer information systems.
As the objective was not to capture a state of play, not all of these five domains were discussed in all 28 countries. The content and extent of the discussions depended mainly on the availability of the local stakeholders at the time of the visit and the time dedicated to the interview. More details on the methodology of this exercise can be found in the iPAAC WP4 working document “iPAAC_WP4_CCPIS_Methodological paper”, available on the intranet of the iPAAC website.
At no point we did aim to evaluate cancer policy implementation or benchmark the findings from this study. This report is to be considered as a summary description of the discussions and could represent the basis for the development of propositions for further action(s). In addition to describing the innovative implementation activities themselves, many interviewees reported challenges encountered in establishing new actions. Indeed, many practical issues were raised concerning cancer control policy implementation. These challenges are listed in the WP4 working document ‘iPAAC_WP4_CCPIS_list of challenges’, available on the intranet of the iPAAC website. Importantly, this report describes the perspective of the interviewees and not the country position.
Interestingly, some challenges noted in some countries were motivating factors for developing innovative approaches to overcome the difficulties in others; while for a series of challenges, no concrete solutions were reported. Thus, it is clear that bringing countries together around specific challenges is of great value for knowledge exchange, mutual learning, and identifying further needs or help required to develop solutions.
To the many challenges and solutions identified by the countries, iPAAC WPs5-10 effectively worked to develop support for quality improvement and sustainability of cancer control. In total, more than 300 examples captured as concise one-page summaries have been produced with each of these inspiring examples to be retrievable in the iPAAC Roadmap.
We have been impressed by the warm welcome in most countries and the easy collaboration with our local contact persons who were dedicated and very efficient in the practical organization, including the invitation of key players around the table. But also, and especially in getting the feedback and validation of the Minutes of the interviews. Their help and commitment was invaluable, as well as the input from the iPAAC work package leaders and their teams.
The Belgian Cancer Centre, Sciensano