Title

Cancer care in regional Australia from the health professional’s perspective

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Supportive Care in Cancer

ISSN

09414355

Volume

26

Issue

10

First Page

3507

Last Page

3515

Publisher

Springer Verlag

School

Exercise Medicine Research Institute/ School of Medical and Health Sciences

Comments

Originally published as: Crawford-Williams, F., Goodwin, B., March, S., Ireland, M. J., Hyde, M. K., Chambers, S. K., . . . Dunn, J. (2018). Cancer care in regional Australia from the health professional’s perspective. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(10), 3507-3515. Original article available here

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to identify the factors which health professionals believe influence clinical care and outcomes for people with cancer in regional areas of Australia.

Methods

Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with a variety of health professionals. Interview questions explored health professional’s perspectives on barriers to cancer care for patients, factors which influence clinical care, and access to support in regional areas. Data were interpreted using an inductive thematic analysis approach.

Results

Two global themes were identified: rural culture and the health system. Within these global themes, health professionals discussed barriers to cancer care in regional areas, predominantly associated with travel, limited workforce, and poor communication within the health system. Participants also noted many positive aspects of cancer care in regional areas, including more personalised care for the patients and faster career progression for professionals.

Conclusions

Despite several strategies to improve rural cancer care in recent times, including innovative models of care and increased infrastructure, health professionals still perceive many barriers to cancer care in regional Australia. These are predominantly associated with patient demographics, travel difficulties, and inadequate governance. However, there are also many notable benefits to receiving care in regional areas which have been absent from previous literature. These positive factors should be incorporated in efforts to enhance regional cancer care through the recruitment of health professionals to regional areas and development of regional community support networks.

DOI

10.1007/s00520-018-4218-x

Share

 
COinS