Qualitative Study on Barriers to Access from the Perspective of Patients and Oncologists


Authors : Julia Ismael; Andrey Mendez; Pablo Gandino; Ignacio Zerviño; María Gabriela Berta; Emilia Arrighi; María Alejandra Iglesias; Haydee Gonzalez; Mariana Auad

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 7 - July

Google Scholar : http://bitly.ws/9nMw

Scribd : https://bit.ly/3kZfmWx

Cancer is the second cause of death in Argentina. Countries with fewer resources have poorer cancer control outcomes, with high relative cancer mortality rates. If no comprehensive and efficient cancer control policies are implemented, a growing burden of chronic non-communicable diseases, most notably cancer, is expected in the coming years. OBJECTIVE: To understand and describe cancer patients’ experience with a focus on process improvement opportunities relevant to patients. METHODS: After a quantitative phase, a qualitative cross-sectional study was conducted. The quantitative phase included 400 men and women from the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA) with a diagnosis of cancer, recruited using semistructured interviews. This phase was followed by a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with 15 patients and 5 physicians from the same geographic area. RESULTS: delays from symptom onset to diagnosis and from diagnosis to treatment were identified. Delays were greater in patients with public health insurance only. Low access to early cancer diagnosis was identified. Interviewees described personal, interpersonal, and health system barriers. In addition to the existing difficulties, the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic added the digital barrier and prolonged such delays. CONCLUSIONS: This research, not restricted to the public health sector, provided evidence to understand the barriers faced by cancer patients in the studied region, and helped identify opportunities for improvement to reduce delays in continuous cancer care, especially for the most vulnerable patients.

Keywords : Barriers, Control Cancer, Patient Journey, Public Health, Continuum Care.

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