Close, But Still Too Far: The Experience of Australian People With Cancer Commuting From a Regional to a Capital City for Radiotherapy Treatment

Hegney, Desley, Pearce, Susanne, Rogers-Clark, Cath, Martin-McDonald, K. and Buikstra, Elizabeth (2005) Close, But Still Too Far: The Experience of Australian People With Cancer Commuting From a Regional to a Capital City for Radiotherapy Treatment. European Journal of Cancer Care, 14 1: 75-82. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2005.00525.x

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Author Hegney, Desley
Pearce, Susanne
Rogers-Clark, Cath
Martin-McDonald, K.
Buikstra, Elizabeth
Title Close, But Still Too Far: The Experience of Australian People With Cancer Commuting From a Regional to a Capital City for Radiotherapy Treatment
Journal name European Journal of Cancer Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0961-5423
Publication date 2005-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2005.00525.x
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 75
End page 82
Total pages 8
Editor Patt Webb
Place of publication London
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject 329999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Abstract This paper reports the findings of a study undertaken in November 2001 on the experiences of 17 rural people from the regional city of Toowoomba who had been diagnosed with cancer and were required to travel to the capital city of Queensland (Brisbane) for radiotherapy. The interviews were tape recorded; the recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed for emergent themes and subthemes, following verification by the participants that the transcription was a true record of their experience. The major themes that arose from the study were (1) the burden of travel; (2) the difficulties of living in accommodation that is not one's own home; (3) the financial burden caused by the need to relocate or travel to and from Brisbane; (4) the lack of closeness to family and friends; (5) and feelings of being a burden on others. The findings suggest that at a time of stress, an increasing burden is placed on cancer clients and their families if they are required to travel for radiotherapy. Health professionals who read the results of this study should be aware of the isolation of rural people who have to live in an unfamiliar environment at a time of great stress. Support mechanisms should be put into place in these referral centres to deal with these stressors.
Keyword radiotherapy
rural people
References Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Population for local government areas at June 2000. Available at: (accessed 5/10/2003). Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC) (1999) Health Horizons: a framework for Improving the Health of Rural, Regional and Remote Australians, 1999-2003. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Canberra, Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (1998) Health in Rural and Remote Australia. AIHW, Canberra, Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2000) Cancer in Australia: Incidence and Mortality Data for 1997 and Selected Data for 1998 and 1999. AIHW catalogue CAN 10, Canberra. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2004) Rural, Regional and Remote Health: a Study on Mortality, Mortality Series No. 2. AIHW, Canberra, Australia. Bourdieu P. (1986) The biographical illusion. Translated by D. Saunders. Actes de la Recherche 62, 69-72. Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (2002) A Vision for Radiotherapy. Report of the Radiation Oncology Inquiry, Australian Government, Canberra. Crowe M. (1998) The power of the word: some post-structural consideration of qualitative approaches in nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing 28, 339-344. Davis C.A., Girgis A., Williams P. & Beeney L. (1998) Needs assessment of rural and remote women travelling to the city for breast cancer treatment. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 22, 525-527. McGrath P. (1998) Relocation for treatment for leukaemia: a description of need. Australian Health Review 21, 143-154. McGrath P. (1999) Experience of relocation for specialist treatment for haematological malignancies. Cancer Strategy 1, 157-163. Offredy M. (2000) Advanced nursing practice: the case of nurse practitioners in three Australian states. Journal of Advanced Nursing 31, 274-281. Oppenheim A.N. (2000) Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. Pinter Publishers, London and New York. Payne S.N., Jarrett N. & Jeffs D. (2000) The impact of travel on cancer patients- experience of treatment: a literature review. European Journal of Cancer Care 9, 197-203. Sidoti C. (1999) Bush Talks. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Sydney.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Originally published as Hegney, Desley and Pearce, Susanne and Rogers-Clark, Cath and Martin-McDonald, K and Buikstra, Elizabeth (2005) Close, but still too far. The experience of Australian people with cancer commuting from a regional to a capital city for radiotherapy treatment, European Journal of Cancer Care, 14 (1): 75-82. Copyright 2005 Blackwell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 29 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 22 Aug 2005, 10:00:00 EST by Desley Hegney on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work