Patient, Provider and System Factors Impacting on the Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer Care in Australia


Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, with only modest improvements in survival. This study aims to identify factors impacting on diagnosis and management of lung cancer with particular reference to Australian primary care. Methods: A sequential mixed method modified approach employing interview and a two-phased survey technique. Following telephonic interviews with 31 health professionals (individuals representing general practitioners, specialized physicians, nurses and allied health practitioners), interview data was analysed using qualitative thematic analysis, and surveys using descriptive statistics. Emergent themes were organised under patient, provider and system factors. Interviews ceased upon saturation of data. Results: Multiple patient, provider and systems issues were seen to contribute to adverse health outcomes. There is a strong relationship between smoking and outcomes, and factors related to higher smoking rates such as a lower socioeconomic status. For smokers, guilt and/or denial was considered a reason for delay in the decision to seek medical care for cough or shortness of breath. Aboriginal people under-report morbidity related to smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; other patients fail to recognise the significance of their symptoms. Discussion: Despite the poor prognosis of lung cancer diagnosis, increased awareness of presentation and treatment options can address disparities in health outcomes.

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M. Jiwa, P. Davidson, P. Newton, M. Digiacomo, S. McGrath and C. Lotriet, "Patient, Provider and System Factors Impacting on the Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer Care in Australia," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3 No. 4A, 2012, pp. 406-411. doi: 10.4236/jct.2012.324053.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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