PhD defence S. (Sven) van Egmond
- Prof.dr. T.E.C. Nijsten
- Dr. M. Wakkee
- Dr. E.W. de Bekker - Grob
On Tuesday 23 March 2021, S. van Egmond will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Evaluation of Skin Cancer Care: Integrating different perspectives’.
My doctoral research concerned the reduction of unnecessary care. First, the current skin cancer care was identified at the dermatologist and the general practitioner. We identified areas for improvement. It turned out that patients with low-risk skin cancer came for a follow-up visit more often than necessary, according to the current guidelines. To find out why this happened and how it could best be reduced, extensive preliminary research was conducted.
First, qualitative research was conducted. Dermatologists were interviewed and focus groups were organized with skin cancer patients. This showed, among other things, that patients like to be monitored because it gives a sense of security and that it is much easier for dermatologists to say that a patient can come back the following year, rather than explaining that it is not necessary according to the guideline. Time and money also played a role in this. Suggestions were also given as to how unnecessary care could be reduced.
Next, quantitative methods were used to determine which strategy gave the greatest chance of reducing follow-up visits without reducing the quality of care. This showed that a personalized letter to patients would be the most effective and feasible strategy.
A personalized letter was developed for skin cancer patients, which included their own diagnosis, treatment, risk of recurrence, risk of a new skin cancer, skin type, and information about follow-up care. This letter was tested in several hospitals and indeed proved to reduce the number of follow-up visits and save costs without reducing the quality of care. Currently we are scaling up this letter to the rest of the Netherlands.
Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall or in the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.