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Health service utilization by indigenous cancer patients in Queensland: a descriptive study

Bernardes, Christina M., Whop, Lisa J., Garvey, Gail and Valery, Patricia C. (2012). Health service utilization by indigenous cancer patients in Queensland: a descriptive study. International Journal for Equity in Health,11(57):1-9.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 11035xPUB2
NHMRC Grant No. 1004643
Title Health service utilization by indigenous cancer patients in Queensland: a descriptive study
Author Bernardes, Christina M.
Whop, Lisa J.
Garvey, Gail
Valery, Patricia C.
Journal Name International Journal for Equity in Health
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 11
Issue Number 57
ISSN 1475-9276   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84867200988
Start Page 1
End Page 9
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Introduction
Indigenous Australians experience more aggressive cancers and higher cancer mortality rates than other Australians. Cancer patients undergoing treatment are likely to access health services (e.g. social worker, cancer helpline, pain management services). To date Indigenous cancer patients’ use of these services is limited. This paper describes the use of health services by Indigenous cancer patients.

Methods
Indigenous cancer patients receiving treatment were recruited at four major Queensland public hospitals (Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital, Princess Alexandra, Cairns Base Hospital and Townsville Hospital). Participants were invited to complete a structured questionnaire during a face-to-face interview which sought information about their use of community and allied health services.

Results
Of the 157 patients interviewed most were women (54.1%), of Aboriginal descent (73.9%), lived outer regional areas (40.1%) and had a mean age of 52.2 years. The most frequent cancer types were breast cancer (22.3%), blood related (14.0%), lung (12.1%) and gastroenterological (10.8%). More than half of the participants reported using at least one of the ‘Indigenous Health Worker/Services’ (76.4%), ‘Allied Health Workers/Services’ (72.6%) and ‘Information Sources’ (70.7%). Younger participants 19–39 years were more likely to use information sources (81.0%) than older participants who more commonly used community services (48.8%). The cancer patients used a median of three health services groups while receiving cancer treatment.

Conclusions
Indigenous cancer patients used a range of health services whilst receiving treatment. Indigenous Health Workers/Services and Allied Health Workers/Services were the most commonly used services. However, there is a need for further systematic investigation into the health service utilization by Indigenous cancer patients.
Keywords Indigenous Australian
Cancer
Health services utilization
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-9276-11-57   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)


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