Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system

Laura Tam, Judith Meiklejohn, Gail Garvey, Jennifer Martin, Jon Adams, Mike Fay, Euan WALPOLE, Patricia Valery

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearch

Abstract

The barriers that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer face in accessing cancer care are well documented. However, factors facilitating this cohort of patients to successfully navigate the health system such as, culturally-aware clinicians, engagement of Indigenous support workers and financial support, have been largely anecdotal.

Aim: This study aimed to examine the factors that enable Indigenous patients to have a positive cancer journey.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with consenting adult Indigenous cancer patients – recruited from a major tertiary hospital in Queensland. Participant inclusion criteria were: age >18 years, able to provide consent, have an established diagnosis of any type of cancer, and either actively receiving treatment or recently completed treatment (no more than 30 days of study enrolment). Twelve Indigenous cancer patients were interviewed and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were then independently analysed by researchers through the comparison and contrast of experiences to elicit common themes until no new concepts were identified.

Results: The factors that assisted Indigenous cancer patients to navigate the health care system were associated with resilience – either innate or adaptive; the level of support received from family and friends was crucial to the patient’s perception of their cancer journey; and spirituality was also highlighted as a source of strength for some. A strong therapeutic alliance was critical to the patient’s positive experience as was support from the health system.

Conclusion: Despite the often cited barriers to accessing cancer care, some Indigenous patients have reported successful navigation through the system. The determinants of a positive cancer journey appear to be multifactorial–personal, environmental and health-professional associated factors. These factors may provide some guidance to other Indigenous cancer patients in helping them to more positively navigate their cancer journey through the health system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number468
Pages (from-to)207-207
Number of pages1
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology
Volume10
Issue numberS8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Delivery of Health Care
Neoplasms
Health
Financial Support
Spirituality
Queensland
Environmental Health
Tertiary Care Centers
Therapeutics
Research Personnel
Interviews

Cite this

Tam, Laura ; Meiklejohn, Judith ; Garvey, Gail ; Martin, Jennifer ; Adams, Jon ; Fay, Mike ; WALPOLE, Euan ; Valery, Patricia . / Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system. In: Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2014 ; Vol. 10, No. S8. pp. 207-207.
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title = "Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system",
abstract = "The barriers that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer face in accessing cancer care are well documented. However, factors facilitating this cohort of patients to successfully navigate the health system such as, culturally-aware clinicians, engagement of Indigenous support workers and financial support, have been largely anecdotal.Aim: This study aimed to examine the factors that enable Indigenous patients to have a positive cancer journey.Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with consenting adult Indigenous cancer patients – recruited from a major tertiary hospital in Queensland. Participant inclusion criteria were: age >18 years, able to provide consent, have an established diagnosis of any type of cancer, and either actively receiving treatment or recently completed treatment (no more than 30 days of study enrolment). Twelve Indigenous cancer patients were interviewed and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were then independently analysed by researchers through the comparison and contrast of experiences to elicit common themes until no new concepts were identified.Results: The factors that assisted Indigenous cancer patients to navigate the health care system were associated with resilience – either innate or adaptive; the level of support received from family and friends was crucial to the patient’s perception of their cancer journey; and spirituality was also highlighted as a source of strength for some. A strong therapeutic alliance was critical to the patient’s positive experience as was support from the health system.Conclusion: Despite the often cited barriers to accessing cancer care, some Indigenous patients have reported successful navigation through the system. The determinants of a positive cancer journey appear to be multifactorial–personal, environmental and health-professional associated factors. These factors may provide some guidance to other Indigenous cancer patients in helping them to more positively navigate their cancer journey through the health system.",
author = "Laura Tam and Judith Meiklejohn and Gail Garvey and Jennifer Martin and Jon Adams and Mike Fay and Euan WALPOLE and Patricia Valery",
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Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system. / Tam, Laura; Meiklejohn, Judith; Garvey, Gail; Martin, Jennifer; Adams, Jon; Fay, Mike; WALPOLE, Euan; Valery, Patricia .

In: Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 10, No. S8, 468, 2014, p. 207-207.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearch

TY - JOUR

T1 - Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system

AU - Tam, Laura

AU - Meiklejohn, Judith

AU - Garvey, Gail

AU - Martin, Jennifer

AU - Adams, Jon

AU - Fay, Mike

AU - WALPOLE, Euan

AU - Valery, Patricia

N1 - COSA's 41st Annual Scientific Meeting. Joining Forces ‐ Accelerating Progress, 2‐4 December 2014, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The barriers that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer face in accessing cancer care are well documented. However, factors facilitating this cohort of patients to successfully navigate the health system such as, culturally-aware clinicians, engagement of Indigenous support workers and financial support, have been largely anecdotal.Aim: This study aimed to examine the factors that enable Indigenous patients to have a positive cancer journey.Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with consenting adult Indigenous cancer patients – recruited from a major tertiary hospital in Queensland. Participant inclusion criteria were: age >18 years, able to provide consent, have an established diagnosis of any type of cancer, and either actively receiving treatment or recently completed treatment (no more than 30 days of study enrolment). Twelve Indigenous cancer patients were interviewed and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were then independently analysed by researchers through the comparison and contrast of experiences to elicit common themes until no new concepts were identified.Results: The factors that assisted Indigenous cancer patients to navigate the health care system were associated with resilience – either innate or adaptive; the level of support received from family and friends was crucial to the patient’s perception of their cancer journey; and spirituality was also highlighted as a source of strength for some. A strong therapeutic alliance was critical to the patient’s positive experience as was support from the health system.Conclusion: Despite the often cited barriers to accessing cancer care, some Indigenous patients have reported successful navigation through the system. The determinants of a positive cancer journey appear to be multifactorial–personal, environmental and health-professional associated factors. These factors may provide some guidance to other Indigenous cancer patients in helping them to more positively navigate their cancer journey through the health system.

AB - The barriers that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with cancer face in accessing cancer care are well documented. However, factors facilitating this cohort of patients to successfully navigate the health system such as, culturally-aware clinicians, engagement of Indigenous support workers and financial support, have been largely anecdotal.Aim: This study aimed to examine the factors that enable Indigenous patients to have a positive cancer journey.Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with consenting adult Indigenous cancer patients – recruited from a major tertiary hospital in Queensland. Participant inclusion criteria were: age >18 years, able to provide consent, have an established diagnosis of any type of cancer, and either actively receiving treatment or recently completed treatment (no more than 30 days of study enrolment). Twelve Indigenous cancer patients were interviewed and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were then independently analysed by researchers through the comparison and contrast of experiences to elicit common themes until no new concepts were identified.Results: The factors that assisted Indigenous cancer patients to navigate the health care system were associated with resilience – either innate or adaptive; the level of support received from family and friends was crucial to the patient’s perception of their cancer journey; and spirituality was also highlighted as a source of strength for some. A strong therapeutic alliance was critical to the patient’s positive experience as was support from the health system.Conclusion: Despite the often cited barriers to accessing cancer care, some Indigenous patients have reported successful navigation through the system. The determinants of a positive cancer journey appear to be multifactorial–personal, environmental and health-professional associated factors. These factors may provide some guidance to other Indigenous cancer patients in helping them to more positively navigate their cancer journey through the health system.

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DO - 10.1111/ajco.12317

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VL - 10

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EP - 207

JO - Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology

JF - Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology

SN - 1743-7555

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ER -