The aims of the Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care (APOCC) study were to assess whether or not Aboriginal people are diagnosed with cancer at later stages than non-Aboriginal people and, if so, to describe both the barriers to early diagnosis and access to cancer care experienced by Aboriginal people and the care that Aboriginal people with cancer are currently receiving; and to compare the level and type of care they receive with that received by non-Aboriginal people.
The research consisted of four phases. CSRH was responsible for the qualitative arm of the research, which entailed conducting in-depth interviews with 50 Aboriginal people with cancer, 30 carers of Aboriginal people with cancer and 30 health care workers who work with Aboriginal people with cancer. The qualitative arm aimed to explore and understand Aboriginal people’s cancer journey using culturally appropriate qualitative research tools. The other three phases of the study were: i) a description of patterns of cancer treatment given to Aboriginal in-patients, using linked data from the NSW Central Cancer Registry and the Inpatient Statistics Collection of records of hospital admissions in NSW; ii) validation and expansion of the data from the analysis of the in-patient statistics by means of abstraction of treatment information from medical records at Aboriginal medical services; and iii) population-based studies of the patterns of care and pathways to diagnosis for Aboriginal people with cancer.
For more information on the entire APOCC project, please visit the Cancer Council NSW website.