Paper in Support Care Cancer
  • O’Callaghan, C., Schofield, P., Butow, P., Nolte, L., Price, M., Tsintziras, S., Sze, M., Thein, T., Yiu, D., Mireskandari, S., Goldstein, D., Jefford, M. (2016). “I might not have cancer if you didn’t mention it”: a qualitative study on information needed by culturally diverse cancer survivors. Support Care Cancer, 24(1):409-18. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-2811-9.

    Background: Immigrants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds diagnosed with cancer face multiple challenges with health systems foreign to them. There is scarce understanding about their needs following cancer treatment in the survivorship phase. Unmet needs were examined in immigrant Chinese and Greek cancer survivors in order to assist development of relevant and useful information resources for these CALD groups.

    Methods: Qualitative descriptive design was used. Adult cancer survivors, whose native language was Mandarin, Cantonese or Greek, were recruited through ethnic cancer support groups and cancer specialists in two Australian cities. Six focus groups were conducted, two in each native language group. Recorded responses were transcribed, translated into English, and thematically analysed.

    Results: Thirty-nine CALD cancer survivors participated from Greek (11), Cantonese (14) and Mandarin (14) backgrounds. Thematic findings included as follows: ongoing cancer-related stressors, cancer misunderstandings, coping strategies, ‘survivor’ seldom reflects self-appraisal, and additional CALD survivorship information needed. Immigrant cancer survivors may prefer ‘recovery’ to ‘survivorship’ descriptors and need information similar to Caucasian cancer survivors alongside as follows: resources for navigating health care, financial and community entitlements; caregiver-directed information to enhance their support; explanations about differences in health care approaches between survivors’ original and adopted countries; and acknowledgment of survivorship diversity within CALD groups.

    Conclusions: Immigrant cancer survivors’ additional requirements to native survivors likely reflect challenges in dealing with foreign environments and varied levels of acculturation within group members. Identification of immigrant cancer survivorship issues may support development of targeted resources for promoting survivors’ self-care and capacity for finding, choosing, and using existing support options.