• Open Access

Cancer patients' concerns regarding access to cancer care: perceived impact of waiting times along the diagnosis and treatment journey

Authors

  • C. PAUL BA HONS, PHD, SENIOR RESEARCH ACADEMIC,

    Corresponding author
    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. CAREY BSC HONS, DPSYCH, SENIOR RESEARCH ACADEMIC,

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. ANDERSON BPSYCH HONS, PHD CANDIDATE,

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • L. MACKENZIE BPSYCH HONS, PHD CANDIDATE,

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. SANSON-FISHER BPSYCH HONS, MPSYCH PHD DSC AO, PROFESSOR,

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. COURTNEY BPSYCH HONS, PHD CANDIDATE,

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • T. CLINTON-MCHARG BPSYCH HONS, PHD, RESEARCH ACADEMIC

    1. The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Callaghan, NSW, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Financial disclosures: There are no financial disclosures from any authors.

  • Infrastructure Funding from the Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour (PRCHB) and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) is gratefully acknowledged.

  • Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms

Christine Paul, The University of Newcastle, Health Behaviour Research Group, School of Medicine & Public Health, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia (e-mail: chris.paul@newcastle.edu.au).

Abstract

PAUL C., CAREY M., ANDERSON A., MACKENZIE L., SANSON-FISHER R., COURTNEY R. & CLINTON-MCHARG T. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 321–329

Cancer patients' concerns regarding access to cancer care: perceived impact of waiting times along the diagnosis and treatment journey

Waiting times can raise significant concern for cancer patients. This study examined cancer patients' concern levels at each phase of waiting. Demographic, disease and psychosocial characteristics associated with concern at each phase were also assessed. 146 consenting outpatients (n= 146) were recruited from two hospitals in Sydney, Australia. Each completed a touch-screen computer survey, asking them to recall concern experienced regarding waiting times at each treatment phase. Approximately half (52%) reported experiencing concern during at least one treatment phase, while 8.9% reported experiencing concern at every phase. Higher proportions of patients reported concern about waiting times from: deciding to have radiotherapy to commencement of radiotherapy (31%); the first specialist appointment to receiving a cancer diagnosis (28%); and deciding to have chemotherapy to commencement of chemotherapy (28%). Patient groups more likely to report concern were those of lower socio-economic status, born outside Australia, or of younger age. Although a small proportion of patients reported very high levels of concern regarding waiting times, the experience of some concern was prevalent. Opportunities for reducing this concern are discussed. Vulnerable groups, such as younger and socio-economically disadvantaged patients, should be the focus of efforts to reduce waiting times and patient concern levels.

Ancillary