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Focus Group Participant: Patient Perspectives on Communications While Waiting for Cardiac Surgery or Angioplasty

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Long-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Provincial Region

Last updated

Volunteer Opportunity
Being able to support patients and families to make informed decisions for their cardiac surgery involves clear communications. Our team is seeking four-six patient partners to help guide the development of better communication tools while patients wait for their procedures.


Lead Organization/Department
Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI), Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation

Our goal is to generate evidence for physicians to make decisions about revascularization strategy (that is, improving the blood flow to the heart) for patients who face treatment delays, and for policymakers in cardiac care to ensure the appropriate management of waitlists. We want to work with patient partners to design communications tools that can be used by physicians, patients, and families that help them understand options available to them during the waiting period for cardiac surgery or angioplasty, including the potential to consider alternative treatments.

The focus group sessions will include:
• Focus Group #1: Obtaining input into what would be a desired way of communication
• Focus Group #2: To comment on, and pilot test ‘tools’ developed on the basis of the first focus group session
• Focus Group # 3: To review and comment on changes made to the communication tools based on feedback from the second focus group session

Level of Engagement
This opportunity is at the level of involve on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will involve patients in planning and design phases to ensure ideas or concerns are considered and reflected in alternatives and recommendations.

Open to patient partners across the province who:
• Are 19 years of age or older
• Reside in BC
• Have undergone cardiac surgery or angioplasty, or have supported a family member who has undergone cardiac surgery or angioplasty (ideally but not necessarily within the last five years).
• Are comfortable to participate in telephone or electronic (e.g., Zoom, Skype) group conversations and share experiences.

If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and Patient Partner Commitments, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact Cassy Mitchell.

• Number of vacancies:  4-6
• Date and Time: Patient partners will be asked to participate in 3 separate focus group sessions, each of which should take approximately 45-60 minutes. All sessions are planned to occur between March 28 and April 30, 2022. Times for each session will be arranged at the patient partners’ convenience, and can include evenings or weekends, if preferred. Questions will be provided at least 48 hours in advance of each session, although participants are not expected or required to do advance preparation.
• Location: By phone or a virtual meeting e.g., Zoom or Skype (dependent on the patient partners personal preference).
• Commitment: Up to three hours (3 separate focus groups) over a one month time period

No out of pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria, but have concerns about your ability to participate, please contact Cassy Mitchell to see if support options are available. We are always seeking to better understand and reduce barriers to participation.

Recognition for time will be provided according to the health care partners’ organizational policies.

The University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health investigates many areas of health and health care policy and delivery. The Coronary Revascularization Timing (CRT) project is examining all non-emergency first-time revascularization procedures performed to treat angiographically-proven multi-vessel coronary artery disease in BC.

Using data from a population-based patient registry, we will compare outcomes of cardiac surgery and angioplasty in relation to the timing of treatment. Evidence on effectiveness of revascularization methods in relation to the timing of treatment will facilitate choosing optimum treatment for patients with complex coronary artery disease. Cardiologists have a duty to inform their patients of the expected delays and the associated risks when they are referring patients for consultation with a cardiac surgeon. Therefore, clinicians will know the benefits and risks of basing the choice of each revascularization method on whether it can be performed within the recommended time. Policy-makers will be guided in establishing how many repeat procedures could be avoided if patients were to undergo delayed coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) instead of immediate angioplasty.

Our team is keenly interested to hear the perspectives and experiences of patients who have undergone cardiac surgery, particularly for those who have undergone a CABG. We’d like to hear your stories to help understand patient information needs and preferences at various points in your cardiac surgery journey. This work is not research. Rather, we will use the results from these patient consultations to construct a toolkit that supports two-way knowledge translation of our findings into the care setting.

There is minimal risk to the patient volunteer. All information provided is confidential and will only be reported in a summary form.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Cassy Mitchell
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Provincial

From Our Community

Lucie Neliba

Patient Partner, Surrey

Lucie Neliba

The Patient Voices Network has connected me to a community with the same drive to bring person- and family-centred care to the forefront. I am grateful for all opportunities I have been a part of thanks to PVN, which positively impacts patients like my sister and their caregivers. No matter how small, all patient engagement will help shape the future of health care and that I can stand behind