Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer requires a systematic approach to understanding patients’ experiences of care

Monica Green A C , Joan Cunningham A , Dianne O’Connell B and Gail Garvey A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, 190 Gipps Street, Abbotsford, Vic. 3067, Australia. Email: joan.cunningham@menzies.edu.au; gail.garvey@menzies.edu.au

B Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council New South Wales, PO Box 572, Kings Cross, NSW 1340, Australia. Email: dianneo@nswcc.org.au

C Corresponding author. Email: monica.green@menzies.edu.au

Australian Health Review 41(2) 231-233 https://doi.org/10.1071/AH15214
Submitted: 10 November 2015  Accepted: 1 May 2016   Published: 7 July 2016

Abstract

Indigenous Australians experience a greater burden of cancer than other Australians, but there is little systematic information about their experiences of cancer care. Patient-centred care is increasingly recognised as one of the core domains of quality care, alongside clinical effectiveness and patient safety. Qualitative studies have identified significant issues relating to Indigenous patients’ experiences of cancer care, but these data are often insufficient to inform and evaluate health service improvement. We need to establish appropriate methods that will lead to systematic, routinely collected, accurate, population-based data on the experiences of care of Indigenous people with cancer, and determine how best to translate these data into improvements in the delivery of care to this population. Genuine Indigenous leadership and involvement will be necessary, with the whole approach underpinned by the primary aim of improving health outcomes for this population.


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