Not just bricks and mortar

Planning hospital cancer services for Aboriginal people

Sandra C. Thompson, Shaouli Shahid, Dawn Bessarab, Angela Durey, Patricia M Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Aboriginal people in Australia experience higher mortality from cancer compared with non-Aboriginal Australians, despite an overall lower incidence. A notable contributor to this disparity is that many Aboriginal people do not take up or continue with cancer treatment which almost always occurs within major hospitals. Thirty in-depth interviews with urban, rural and remote Aboriginal people affected by cancer were conducted between March 2006 and September 2007. Interviews explored participants' beliefs about cancer and experiences of cancer care and were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded independently by two researchers. NVivo7 software was used to assist data management and analysis. Information from interviews relevant to hospital services including and building design was extracted. Findings. Relationships and respect emerged as crucial considerations of participants although many aspects of the hospital environment were seen as influencing the delivery of care. Five themes describing concerns about the hospital environment emerged: (i) being alone and lost in a big, alien and inflexible system; (ii) failure of open communication, delays and inefficiency in the system; (iii) practicalities: costs, transportation, community and family responsibilities; (iv) the need for Aboriginal support persons; and (v) connection to the community. Conclusions: Design considerations and were identified but more important than the building itself was the critical need to build trust in health services. Promotion of cultural safety, support for Aboriginal family structures and respecting the importance of place and community to Aboriginal patients are crucial in improving cancer outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hospital Planning
Cancer Care Facilities
Brick
Mortar
Planning
Neoplasms
Interviews
Oncology
Information management
Health
Health Services
Communication
Software
Research Personnel
Safety
Costs
Costs and Cost Analysis
Mortality
Incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Not just bricks and mortar : Planning hospital cancer services for Aboriginal people. / Thompson, Sandra C.; Shahid, Shaouli; Bessarab, Dawn; Durey, Angela; Davidson, Patricia M.

In: BMC Research Notes, Vol. 4, 62, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thompson, Sandra C. ; Shahid, Shaouli ; Bessarab, Dawn ; Durey, Angela ; Davidson, Patricia M. / Not just bricks and mortar : Planning hospital cancer services for Aboriginal people. In: BMC Research Notes. 2011 ; Vol. 4.
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