Patients with confirmed diagnosis of esophageal cancer at any stage, and aged 40–80 years attending care at UCI participated in the in-depth interviews (IDIs) during the study period. This age group was considered because records from UCI and literature showed they are the category most at risk of esophageal cancer [26, 27]. Healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, counselors and social workers who had direct contact with esophageal cancer patients in care participated in this study as key informants. Other inclusion criteria were ability of patients to respond to the study questions and provisions of a written informed consent. Patients were excluded if they were considered very sick and unable to talk due to complications of the disease or other documented reasons for aphasia/dysphasia. Healthcare professionals involved in care of patients with esophageal cancer but who were not available at the facility during the study period for any reasons were excluded. There was only one such healthcare professional; she was on annual leave and could not be reached during the study period.

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