Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Promoting equity in cancer survivorship care (#398)

Tracy L. Truant 1 , Sally E. Thorne 1 , Lynda G. Balneaves 1 , Carolyn C. Gotay 2
  1. School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  2. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Background: In developed countries, new models of care (MoC) are emerging to address cancer survivors’ unmet needs, but few consider health and social disparities in their development, limiting access to quality survivorship care for many1,2 . Understanding how disparities influence the development of and access to survivorship MoC is essential to ensure individuals’ needs, rather than social privileges, guide the distribution of opportunities for quality survivorship care and optimal health.

Aim: This study explores and explains how the layering and intersection of social, political, economic and personal factors, and health experiences and health management strategies shape the development of and access to quality survivorship care for Canadians with cancer. Moving beyond simply describing, this study considers possibilities for action to create equitable survivorship MoC that recognize the complexities inherent in survivorship care.

Methods: Using a qualitative Interpretive Description approach informed by an intersectional lens, this study involves three phases: 1) secondary analysis of a Canadian Communication in Cancer Care database, 2) survivor and key stakeholder interviews, and 3) critical textual analysis (e.g., survivorship guidelines, education programs, resources).

Results: Phase 1 results are presented, offering survivors’ transition experiences from cancer treatment to survivorship care.  Major themes such as communication with health professionals about survivorship care, experience of accessing survivorship resources, and alignment of survivorship resources with individuals’ needs will be explored. These findings highlight problematic areas and recommendations for improvement in how we communicate about, shape and enact equitable survivorship MoCs.

Conclusions: This study offers insights into how current survivorship MoC may unwittingly reduce opportunities for survivor health and makes recommendations to promote strategic thinking, applicable to a global context, regarding MoC for equitable cancer survivorship.

  1. Casillas, J. & Ayanian, J. (2011). Disparities in cancer for cancer survivors. In M. Feuerstein & P. Ganz, Eds., Health services for cancer survivors: Practice, policy and research (pp. 153-168). New York: Springer.
  2. Maddison, A.R., Asada, Y. & Urquhart, R. (2011). Inequity in access to cancer care: A review of the Canadian literature. Cancer Causes Control 22:359-366.