Dr. Jae-Yung Kwon is an affiliated researcher with the BC Cancer Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation department and assistant professor at the University of Victoria’s School of Nursing. His work is focused on promoting person-centred care and enhancing quality of life for cancer patients. Jae-Yung recently presented his research findings during the Poster Session at the International Society of Quality of Life (ISOQOL) conference, and was awarded the 2023 New Investigator Award.

Jae-Yung began to question whether the current health care system truly met the needs of cancer patients, in terms of their quality of life, when he started working as a registered nurse in 2012. After witnessing his grandfather’s battle with lung cancer and hearing stories from older patients about their unmet holistic needs, Jae-Yung was motivated to pursue oncology research.

Jae-Yung’s research focuses on connecting patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient stories, so that clinicians have information about the likely impact of patients’ changing needs. PROMs are used to assess a patient’s health status at a particular point in time.

“PROMs help researchers and clinicians understand patients’ experiences,” said Jae-Yung, explaining the significance of his research. “However, PROMs lack detailed context about why patients’ health and well-being change over time, which can affect clinicians’ ability to identify and address the evolving needs of a patient as they go through cancer treatment.”

To provide this context, Jae-Yung used innovative methods such as fictional patient profiles called personas, that help clinicians empathize with patients’ challenges, and journey maps, which visualize patients’ experience over time. His findings suggest that incorporating PROMs into practice can improve patient-centred care, as it encourages clinicians to have ongoing conversations about a patients’ well-being throughout their illness. By contextualizing PROM scores, clinicians can better understand patients’ unique life situations that contribute to their symptoms and well-being, and thereby provide more personalized care.

“To achieve the full potential of PROMs, clinicians would benefit from learning how to translate these data into a patient’s ‘health story’,” Jae-Yung explained. “The outcome has potential to enhance clinicians’ ability to identify and address the evolving needs of a patient by facilitating patient-clinician dialogue, and by adopting intervention strategies attuned to the needs of individual patients.”

Example: Shelly's journey map

Example: Shelley’s journey map

“BC Cancer has supported my research since the beginning with recruitment of participants, providing feedback on the study protocol, and contributing to the development of knowledge translation resources,” said Jae-Yung. “This includes a learning module on LearningHub that clinicians across the province can access, titled, Incorporating Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) into practice: Using personas to bring out the patient voice.”

Learn more:

  • BC Cancer’s Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation department promotes innovation and excellence in interprofessional research and knowledge mobilization to drive evidence-informed improvements in care, better patient outcomes and increased system performance.
  • ISOQOL is a global community of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals, industry professionals, consultants and patient research partners dedicated to advancing health related quality of life research. Their aim is to create a future in which patient perspective is integral to health research, care and policy.
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