Study protocol for a cross-sectional online survey investigating patient preferences and experiences of waiting for elective cardiac surgery

Manuela Russo*, Kathryn Watson, Katie Richards, Rachel Rowan Olive, Barbora Krausova, Rashmi Kumar, Joanna Burridge, Lucy Goulding, Kia Chong Chua, David Hardy, Avlonitis Vassilios, Baig Kamran, Sunil Bhudia, Noorani Alia, Khan Habib, Nick Sevdalis, Mario Petrou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Being on a waiting list for elective (planned) cardiac surgery can be physically and psychologically challenging for patients. Research suggests that stress associated with waiting for surgery is dependent on different individual and contextual factors. However, most data on patients' experiences of waiting for surgery and preferences for waiting list management derives from non-cardiac clinical populations. The aim of the current study is to explore patients' experiences of being on a waiting list for elective cardiac surgery, and their views on how the waiting experience could be improved in the future. This work will inform the patient management strategy during the waiting period for surgery across the four major hospitals in London directly involved in this study, and potentially beyond by transferring learning to other services. Methods and analysis This is a mixed-methods study that will collect quantitative and qualitative data using a cross-sectional online survey. Patients who are on waiting lists for elective surgery across four major cardiac surgery departments in London hospitals, and are at least 18 years old, will be invited by their healthcare team via text message or letter to complete the survey. The target sample size of non-randomly selected participants will be 268. Bivariable and multivariable regression models will be used to assess associations between survey items measuring the impact of the cardiac condition on specific life domains (eg, daily activities, social and family relationships, hobbies, sexual life), anxiety and depression symptoms as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 and survey items evaluating experiences of health services. Data on experience and preferences for improvements to the waiting experience will be analysed with qualitative content analysis using an inductive approach. Ethics and dissemination This study was reviewed and granted ethical approval by the East of England - East Cambridge Research Ethics Committee. Findings from this study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, a research website and social media and with an online event engaging patients, members of the public, healthcare professionals and other relevant stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere079692
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patient-Centered Care


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