A survey of lung cancer in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland: health views that impact on early diagnosis and treatment

Page, B. J., Bowman, R. V., Yang, I. A. and Fong, K. M. (2016) A survey of lung cancer in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland: health views that impact on early diagnosis and treatment. Internal Medicine Journal, 46 2: 171-176. doi:10.1111/imj.12948


Author Page, B. J.
Bowman, R. V.
Yang, I. A.
Fong, K. M.
Title A survey of lung cancer in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland: health views that impact on early diagnosis and treatment
Journal name Internal Medicine Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-5994
1444-0903
Publication date 2016-02-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/imj.12948
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 46
Issue 2
Start page 171
End page 176
Total pages 6
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Lung cancer incidence, mortality and hospitalisation rates are higher for Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians and increase again when living in more remote areas. If Indigenous Australians are made more aware of lung cancer through better access to health services and programmes, lung cancer outcomes might improve.

Aim
We aimed to survey the level of lung cancer awareness in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and discover perceived barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Methods
Interviews were conducted in three discrete outer regional and remote Aboriginal communities and one urban setting in Queensland. Participants included Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from three target population groups: patients referred for medical treatment with symptoms suspicious of lung cancer or confirmed lung cancer; Indigenous health workers; community members aged 18 years and over. Participants gave written, informed consent.

Results
Of 51 community members and 14 Indigenous health workers, 32 reflected they knew very little about lung cancer, 60 cited smoking as the cause of lung cancer and 54 recognised warning symptoms as a prompt to seek healthcare. Indigenous health workers were not able to describe a healthcare pathway that would apply to a patient with suspected lung cancer.

Conclusion
The two main barriers identified as impacting on quality healthcare were communication and follow-up processes. These could be addressed by service improvement activities.
Keyword Lung cancer
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Health information
Health services
Culture
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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