Research calling for input from Koori cancer patients

A research project working to improve the care of Aboriginal people and their families after a cancer diagnosis is looking for Mallee people willing to share their stories.

The project is a partnership between Monash University and Mallee District Aboriginal Services, funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
MDAS Researcher Samantha Brennan said the project urgently needed community members to come forward to share their experiences.
“We’re looking for people who’ve had a diagnosis of cancer, or who have had a family member with a diagnosis of cancer either currently, or in the recent past,” Ms Brennan said.
“Our goal is to help improve how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria are supported through their cancer diagnosis and treatment, so the information participants can offer will have a big impact,” she said.
“But because of patient confidentiality, we’re dependent on people being willing to come forward.
“Their information and input will be confidential at all times.  We want to talk to people one-on-one about their experience, but if they’re comfortable they’ll also be offered the chance to share their thoughts in a yarning circle with other Aboriginal people who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis.”
Monash University Researcher Dr Claire Nightingale said part of the project involved reviewing the format of the DHHS Patient Experience of Care Survey.
“The department’s survey was introduced to understand more about the experiences of people after they are diagnosed with cancer, but the questions might not be appropriate for Aboriginal people,” Dr Nightingale said.
“We want to talk to people about the questions – which are OK, which need to be changed, and other questions that need to be added,” she said.
Up to six community members aged 18 and over are required for the research.  To be involved, community members will have had a diagnosis of invasive cancer, be undergoing treatment or have finished treatment within the past 18 months.
Anyone willing to be involved in the project is asked to contact Samantha Brennan at MDAS on (03) 5018 4100
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