Rural health professionals' perspectives on providing grief and loss support in cancer care
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science/Social Justice Research Centre
Research demonstrates considerable inequalities in service delivery and health outcomes for people with cancer living outside large metropolitan cities. Semi-structured interviews with 11 professionals providing grief and loss support for people with cancer and their families in rural, regional, and remote areas Western Australia revealed the challenges they faced in delivering such support. The data are presented in four themes - Inequity of regional versus metropolitan services, Strain of the 'Jack of all trades' role, Constraints to accessing professional development, and Challenges in delivering post-bereavement services. These challenges are likely to be of growing concern given that populations are declining in rural areas as Australia becomes increasingly urban. The findings have implications in enhancing the loss and grief support services available in rural, regional, and remote Western Australia, including those grieving the death of a loved one through cancer.