A consultation with Canadian rural women with breast cancer
ABSTRACT Relatively little research has been carried out on the health and supportive care needs of rural women living with breast cancer. In this study, results from a Canadian focus group study are used to highlight issues of importance to rural women.
A total of 276 rural women with breast cancer divided into 17 focus groups participated in the study conducted across Canada. A standardized protocol for discussion was employed. Issues of access to information, support and services were discussed, with women describing their experiences in trying to find appropriate programmes and services.
The major theme identified through analysis of qualitative data was 'becoming aware of and/or gaining access to health care information, support and services.' Other major themes included: (1) dealing with isolation; (2) having to travel; (3) feeling the financial burden and (4) coping with changing work.
Rural women with breast cancer have supportive care challenges related to their circumstances. A series of recommendations were generated through the consultation process which are contributing to the development of a national strategy focusing on the development and extension of programmes for rural women with breast cancer. Although the research on the project was not to specified standards, and suffered from less attention than community capacity building and advocacy, it proved to be of worth and revealed potential benefits from collaborations between researchers and community organizations.
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ABSTRACT: As part of a mixed methods study on women's access to the healthcare system in Ontario, Canada, we undertook a qualitative meta-synthesis to better understand the contextual conditions under which women access healthcare. An earlier phase of the synthesis demonstrated a series of factors that complicate women's access to healthcare in Ontario. Here, we consider women's agency in responding to these factors. We used meta-study methods to synthesise findings from qualitative studies published between January 2002 and December 2010. Studies were identified by searches of numerous databases, including CINAHL, MEDLINE, Scopus, Gender Studies Database and LGBT Life. Inclusion criteria included use of a qualitative research design; published in a peer-reviewed journal during the specified time period; included a sample at least partially recruited in Ontario; included distinct findings for women participants; and in English language. Studies were included in the final sample after appraisals using a qualitative research appraisal tool. We found that women utilised a spectrum of responses to forces limiting access to healthcare: mobilising financial, social and interpersonal resources; living out shortfalls by making do, doing without, and emotional self-management; and avoiding illness and maintaining health. Across the studies, women described their efforts to overcome challenges to accessing healthcare. However, there were evident limits to women's agency and many of their strategies represented temporary measures rather than viable long-term solutions. While women can be resourceful and resilient in overcoming access disparities, systemic problems still need to be addressed. Women need to be involved in designing and implementing interventions to improve access to healthcare, and to address the root problems of these issues.Health & Social Care in the Community 01/2014; DOI:10.1111/hsc.12093 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined self-efficacy, coping, and social support in relation to difficulties interacting with physicians and nurses among women living with breast cancer. One hundred women living in rural, mountainous communities of northeastern California were recruited, with 89 providing complete data for this study. All women completed a battery of questionnaires that included the CARES--Medical Interaction Subscale and measures of self-efficacy, coping, satisfaction with social support, and demographic and medical characteristics. In a multiple regression analysis, difficulties interacting with medical professionals were found to be greater among women who were not married, who used more behavioral disengagement or less self-distraction to cope with breast cancer, and who reported less self-efficacy for affect regulation and for seeking and understanding medical information. Emotional venting and satisfaction with social support for dealing with cancer-related stress were not, however, significantly related to difficulties in interacting with the medical team. This model accounted for an adjusted value of 42% of the variance. Further research is needed to identify possible causal relationships related to these findings and to determine what interventions might be warranted to improve medical interactions for women with breast cancer living in rural areas.Psycho-Oncology 10/2005; 14(10):901-12; discussion 913-4. DOI:10.1002/pon.944 · 4.04 Impact Factor