Journey mapping patient-reported data for older adult patients with cancer

This project is co-funded with AGE-WELL as part of the 2022 Springboard Grants Program: Early Career Researcher Competition.

About the Project

The goal of this project is to help clinicians better understand frailty – a medical condition of reduced function and health in older adults – through the perspective of cancer patients so they can provide improved individualized care. If clinicians better grasp what patients see, feel and do, they will be positioned to meet their patients’ needs and offer appropriate support and resources to them on their cancer journey.

There is growing interest in using patient-reported data in the assessment of frailty for older patients with cancer to enhance person-centred care; but these data are static points that do not present a dynamic and holistic assessment of the patient’s health and therefore are of limited use in cancer treatment that extends over time and responds to their evolving needs. To achieve the full potential of using patient-reported frailty data, clinicians would benefit from learning how to translate that data into a patient’s health story. This can be achieved by journey mapping what patients go through at each stage of their health journey.

By learning how to visualize patients’ healthcare service encounters over time, clinicians have a dynamic portrait of their patient’s experiences, wants and needs. Exposing clinicians to the idea of health narratives and training them to recognize those of older patients with cancer will enable providers to better interpret patient-reported assessments by integrating that information into journey maps – ultimately improving patient experiences with frailty over the course of their cancer treatment.

Anticipated Findings

We anticipate clinicians will use journey maps as educational tools to help them better identify and address the evolving needs of frail older patients undergoing cancer treatment (e.g., facilitating patient-clinician dialogue and adopting education strategies attuned to the needs of individual patients).

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Jae-Yung Kwon – University of Victoria


Dillon Chrimes – University of Victoria
Lillian Hung – University of British Columbia
Leah Lambert – BC Cancer/University of British Columbia
Francis Lau – University of Victoria
Richard Sawatzky – Trinity Western University
Angela Wolff – Trinity Western University

Knowledge User:

Caroline Mariano – BC Cancer/University of British Columbia


Jeff Parks – University of Victoria

Patient Partners:

Hilary Horlock – Provincial Health Services Authority
Lorraine Wilson

Keywords: journey maps; self-assessment; patient-reported outcomes; patient-centred care; empathy; older adults with cancer; frailty; aging; knowledge translation; translational science

Background & Rationale


Journey mapping – the visualization of patients’ stories – is a relatively new approach in health research that can connect patient-reported frailty data with their healthcare experiences. Learning about patient behaviours, feelings, and motivations and knowing what they experience physically, socially and psychologically during their cancer journey helps healthcare providers understand potential barriers and opportunities for improving person-centred care.


Healthcare providers need to better understand how patient responses to questionnaires can be used to optimize person-centred care and address their unique health needs. Developing journey maps that connect patient-reported data with patient experiences can help providers address the needs of frail older patients with cancer. By capturing compelling stories of their experience of frailty – which has not been widely studied to date – journey maps can improve person-centred care for older adults with cancer.

Research Plan & Hypothesis

Research Plan

Ten older adults (65+ or older) who have or have had cancer will be interviewed about frailty, their cancer experiences and key events during their healthcare journey.


Journey maps of the experiences of older cancer patients can be used as educational tools to support clinicians in using patient-reported data to improve person-centred care.


This project aims to improve person-centred cancer care for older frail patients by increasing awareness of the usefulness of patient-reported data for addressing their unique health-related needs.