Table 2

Patient perceptions of Cytosponge

Overarching themeAreaIllustrative quotes (ID number, sex)
Novel testAwareness“At that time, there was more in the newspapers and the national press about Cytosponges than there’d ever been before, so a relatively new procedure”. C16, M
“I had no knowledge of anybody else who had had the test”. C8, M
Reaction to novel test“The result of that test has led on to a new test, which is not an endoscopy, again, which is great. I hope that this new test will, perhaps, provide the answers I need, at least to the severity of what my symptoms are about and what level of medication is actually right for me”. C6, M
“Psychologically, I suppose, yes. I think, because it was that department that they were doing tests like that quite a lot, therefore it was a newish thing in a doctor’s surgery and they, perhaps, had less experience”. C5, M
Trusting test resultsTrust in techniqueInterviewer: "Did you trust the findings from the Cytosponge?"
Participant: "Absolutely, I did because I can see that a sponge coming up through your oesophagus is going to sample cells from all round. From the stomach, right the way up through your oesophagus all the way round”. C19, F
Comparison with endoscopy“I think the endoscopy gives, of course, better details, but I know the cost-benefit analysis as well, but I would say that, yeah, I would want to have both, more regularly a sponge test than endoscopy, because endoscopy has got the and painful side effects afterwards. Say, after a year or two, or a year and a half, then I would go for the endoscopy as well, as a backup plan”. C2, M
“Whereas, the consultant who did the endoscopy, he told me he was a trainee, I thought, ‘When you have the camera down, is he really looking carefully all round?’ It felt to me it was less likely to be missed, any cancer cells, than if somebody had been looking, just looking. Yes, I felt better about it”. C19, F
It’s not fool-proof, but it’s certainly a strong indicator and is massively preferable to the endoscopy, which is obviously quite invasive, and unpleasant, and painful and all of that. So, I was glad that I didn’t have to go through that procedure and that this procedure was reasonably effective at giving an indicator of what’s going on. C6, M
  • F, female; M, male.