Friday 30th September 2016
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Autumn 2016
Macmillan is at the beginning of a new and exciting project that will reveal how people access and use information about cancer
Why is Macmillan doing this?
Macmillan already involves people affected by cancer in everything that it produces. We have a database of reviewers who read
and comment on our information to help us improve. However, the limitations of this are that we get feedback from people who:
- have been reviewing our information for some time
- are not necessarily in need of the information themselves at the time
- are often ‘expert patients’.
Through this new project and going forwards, we hope to gather feedback on our information from the people who are actually using it, at the point of use. This will help us to improve our information, understand the impact it has on patient experience and identify any unmet information needs.
We will collect data on how Macmillan’s cancer information is accessed across different topics, formats (such as printed booklets or audiobooks) and distribution channels.
What we already know
We already have data on how many information resources are ordered and which are most popular. And we know how many people use the website and which topics they spend the most time on. But this doesn't tell us whether people are happy with what they get.
We also commissioned an agency to look at the impact of our cancer information resources in 2013. We gathered feedback from 672 people via print and online surveys, and then carried out 67 follow-up interviews.
Some key findings included:
- One fifth of people felt they had received information too late.
- Around a quarter of people took some action after reading Macmillan’s information that they would not otherwise have taken.
- General information on coping with cancer was more likely to be received as a booklet and cancer-specific information was more likely to be accessed online (see chart below).
These are only snippets from the report. The evaluation has taught us a lot and we have already made many changes to how we produce and promote our information in response to the findings. But this report was published in 2013, and so establishing ongoing processes for feedback and data collection will ensure we can continue to improve and respond to changing needs.
Would you like to help?
We want to hear from health, social care and information professionals about how their patients and service users currently access information. Please email me to find out more.
Quality and Evaluation Lead
Cancer Information Development Team