Translating the evidence to improve cancer care for Indigenous people — ASN Events

Translating the evidence to improve cancer care for Indigenous people (#315)

Dianne O'Connell 1 , Carla ` Treloar 2 , Christy Newman 2 , Gail Garvey 3 , Patricia Valery 3 , Rajah Supramaniam 1
  1. Cancer Council NSW, Woolloomooloo, NSW, Australia
  2. National Centre for HIV Social Research, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Epidemiology & Health Systems, Menzies School of Health Research, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

The goals of this symposium are to inform the delegates of the latest results on the determinants of poorer cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the challenges involved in addressing these determinants.  The key learning objective is to explore the optimal pathways to translate these findings into measureable improvements in the cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This will be facilitated by open discussion led by Prof O'Connell.

Dr Newman will speak on the importance of critically unpacking the ‘taken for granted’ assumptions behind how health care professionals make sense of cultural differences and how this process can enrich our understanding and response to the health needs of Aboriginal people.

Prof Treloar will explore the cancer care experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW using a social inclusion lens. She will discuss three over-arching common barriers to treatment: socio-economic status, trust (or mistrust), and difficulties in knowing the system of cancer treatment.

A/Prof Garvey will outline the results of her study using a newly developed supportive care needs assessment tool that is culturally appropriate and relevant to Indigenous people.  In particular she will outline how greater assistance in the unmet needs of Indigenous people can optimize care both pre- and post-hospitalisation for Indigenous people with cancer.

Dr Valery will present results that suggest that treatment, comorbidities and stage at diagnosis can explain most of the poorer outcomes experienced by Indigenous people with cancer. However she will also show that a greater understanding is needed of the delays to an early diagnosis, and to explain why fewer cancer treatments are received by Indigenous people.

Mr Supramaniam will speak about the challenges in translating research results and identify some key successes in addressing disparities in cancer treatment and outcomes for Aboriginal people with cancer.