Introduction: Indigenous Australians have a higher cancer incidence, worse mortality and are less likely to receive optimal cancer treatment compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Culturally appropriate supportive care helps ensure that Indigenous patients engage in and receive optimal care. However, many existing supportive care needs tools lack cultural relevance for Indigenous people, and their feasibility with Indigenous people has not been demonstrated. The Supportive Care Needs Assessment Tool for Indigenous People (SCNAT-IP) assesses the unmet supportive care needs of Indigenous cancer patients.
Purpose: This descriptive study evaluates the clinical implementation of the SCNAT-IP in routine care.
Methods: Two large tertiary cancer treatment centres and two regional oncology clinics participated. Participants included 10 clinical staff and 36 adult Indigenous cancer patients (mean age 54 years). Patients and clinicians completed brief, purpose-designed questionnaires and interviews.
Results: Patients reported high ratings (means >8/10) for acceptability, helpfulness and timing items. The majority (≥80 %) of staff agreed that the SCNAT-IP was useful to clinical practice, should be used in routine care and was acceptable to their patients.
Conclusions: The study provides empirical support for the feasibility and acceptability of the SCNAT-IP in routine cancer care with Indigenous Australians. Routine screening with the SCNAT-IP has the potential to improve cancer care for Indigenous people with cancer.