Objective: There have been few descriptions of how outpatient cancer care is provided to patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. As populations who experience disparities in cancer care access and outcomes, deeper understanding is needed to help identify those factors which can shape the receipt of multidisciplinary care in ambulatory settings. This paper reports on data collected and analysed as part of a multicentre characterisation of care in Australian public hospital cancer outpatient clinics (OPCs).
Results: Analysis of data from our ethnographic study of four OPCs identified three themes: “Identifying CALD patient language-related needs”; “Capacity and resources to meet CALD patient needs”, and “Making it work for CALD communities.” The care team comprises not only clinicians but also families and non-clinical staff; OPCs serve as “touchpoints” facilitating access to a range of therapeutic services. The findings highlight the potential challenges oncology professionals negotiate in providing care to CALD communities and the ways in which clinicians adapt their practices, formulate strategies and use available resources to support care delivery.