Patients' experiences of colorectal cancer and oncology services in North Queensland

Veitch, Craig, Crossland, Lisa, Steeghs, Marlous, Ho, Yik-Hong, and Hanks, Heather (2008) Patients' experiences of colorectal cancer and oncology services in North Queensland. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 14 (3). pp. 93-100.

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) accounts for 15% of cancer incidence and mortality in Australia. Incidence rates have been rising for two decades. Little is known about the experiences, attitudes and perceptions of people with CRC who live in non-metropolitan areas. The aim of this study was to investigate participants' experiences with and attitudes to CRC. This Cancer Council of Queensland-funded project collected data in three phases - focus groups, individual interviews, postal survey - from patients treated for CRC in north Queensland. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to analyse the data. Participants had very little knowledge of CRC signs and symptoms pre-diagnosis, which sometimes led to delays in diagnosis. The speed of diagnosis was dependent on several practitioner-related factors. Treatment-related issues included coming to grips with the diagnosis and preparedness for treatment and side-effects. Personal beliefs and attitudes influenced treatment and follow-up decisions. Rural participants encountered travel-related difficulties, particularly during treatment as outpatients. There was a strong belief in the need for more public education about CRC in general, warning signs and symptoms, and familial risk factors. Good understanding of people's knowledge of CRC, their attitudes towards screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up, will enable health and cancer services provide focused and relevant support to people with CRC, their families and carers. This is especially important in non-metropolitan areas where the full range of specialist services is not locally available.

Item ID: 5934
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-7399
Keywords: patient experiences; colorectal cancer; rural health
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Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 05:55
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 67%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 33%
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