Thinking Beyond the Cure


Patient experience is a complex phenomenon, shaped by many factors, such as, the healthcare staff and medical technologies they interact with, the information they are provided with, and the institutional structures shaping how they receive care. While these factors often successfully meet patients’ medical needs, anxiety can arise when these factors fail to acknowledge patients’ needs as individuals.

Within radiotherapy, interactions with the treatment technologies can directly trigger anxiety and fear in cancer patients. In this thesis, I question why technologies that cause anxiety and claustrophobia get developed in the first place, and argue that there is a need for healthcare to shift its focus from best treatment to best care. I provide evidence for the importance of designing patient interactions with medical technologies, and present a composite methodological approach which addresses the complexity of healthcare and shows how design research can help to understand and improve patient experience.