Are National Cancer Control Indicators for patient experiences being met in regional and remote Australia? A cross-sectional study of cancer survivors who travelled for treatment

Dunn, Jeff and Goodwin, Belinda and Aitken, Joanne F. and March, Sonja ORCID: and Crawford-Williams, Fiona and Ireland, Michael and Ralph, Nicholas ORCID: and Zajdlewicz, Leah and Rowe, Arlen ORCID: and Chambers, Suzanne (2021) Are National Cancer Control Indicators for patient experiences being met in regional and remote Australia? A cross-sectional study of cancer survivors who travelled for treatment. BMJ Open, 11 (2). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2044-6055

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Objectives: To examine the health services experience of cancer patients from regional and remote Australia using the Australian National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) guidelines as an assessment framework.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: Queensland non-for-profit cancer accommodation lodges.

Participants: Participants were cancer patients who travelled for treatment from rural and remote Queensland to major urban centres (n=518; age M = 64.6 , SD =11.18).

Outcome measures: Assessments included NCCI patient indicators, quality of life (QoL), psychological distress and unmet supportive care needs.

Results: The frequency at which NCCI indicators were met ranged from 37.5% for receiving an assessment and care plan to 97.3% for understanding explanations about diagnosis. Middle school educated participants were more likely than those with senior level education or higher to receive an assessment and care plan (OR = 1.90, CI = 1.23 – 2.91) and to report having their views on treatment taken into account (OR = 2.22, CI = 1.49 – 3.33). Patients with breast or prostate cancer reported better communication and patient involvement and information and services provision (r = p <.001) compared to those with skin and head and neck cancer. When compared to information and service provision, communication and patient involvement showed stronger positive associations with QoL (z = 2.03, p = .042), psychosocial (z = 2.05, p =.040), and patient care (z = 2.00, p =.046) outcomes.

Conclusion: The patient care experience varies across the NCCI indicators by sociodemographic and clinical factors that likely reflects health care system biases. Perceptions about communication and involvement appear most critical for optimal outcomes and should be a priority action area for cancer control.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 01:28
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 07:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer; health service; information; communication; patient experiences; cancer control
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200508 Rural and remote area health
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