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

Crawford-Williams, Fiona and Goodwin, Belinda and March, Sonja ORCID: and Ireland, Michael J. and Hyde, Melissa K. and Chambers, Suzanne K. and Aitken, Joanne F. and Dunn, Jeff ORCID: (2018) Cancer care in regional Australia from the health professional's perspective. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26 (10). pp. 3507-3515. ISSN 0941-4355


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.

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.

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.

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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online 25 April 2018. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 21 May 2018 07:24
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 02:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: oncology, cancer care, rural health, qualitative, health professionals
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321199 Oncology and carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920206 Health Inequalities
C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health
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