Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2509–2520

Unmet needs in immigrant cancer survivors: a cross-sectional population-based study

  • P. N. Butow
  • M. L. Bell
  • L. J. Aldridge
  • M. Sze
  • M. Eisenbruch
  • M. Jefford
  • P. Schofield
  • A. Girgis
  • M. King
  • P. S. Duggal
  • J. McGrane
  • D. Goldstein
  • on behalf of the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) CALD team
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00520-013-1819-2

Cite this article as:
Butow, P.N., Bell, M.L., Aldridge, L.J. et al. Support Care Cancer (2013) 21: 2509. doi:10.1007/s00520-013-1819-2

Abstract

Purpose

Social suffering, language difficulties, and cultural factors may all make the cancer experience more difficult for immigrants. This study aimed to document unmet needs, and variables associated with these, in a population-based sample of first-generation immigrants and Anglo-Australians who had survived cancer.

Methods

Participants were recruited via Australian cancer registries. Eligible cancer survivors had a new diagnosis 1–6 years earlier and were aged between 18 and 80 years at diagnosis. Eligible immigrant participants and parents were born in a country where Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, and other dialects), or Greek is spoken, and they spoke one of these languages. A random sample of English-speaking Anglo-Australian-born controls was recruited.

Results

Five hundred ninety-six patients (277 immigrants) were recruited to the study (response rate, 26 %). Compared to Anglo-Australians, the adjusted odds ratio of Chinese immigrants for at least one unmet information/support need was 5.1 (95 % CI 3.1, 8.3) and for any unmet physical need was 3.1 (95 % CI 1.9, 5.1). For Greek, these were 2.0 (95 % CI 1.1, 4.0) and 2.7 (95 % CI 1.4, 5.2). Arabic patients had elevated, but not statistically significant, odds ratios compared to Anglo-Australians. Written information and having a specialist, support services, and other health professionals who spoke their language were in the top ten unmet needs amongst immigrants.

Conclusion

Immigrant cancer survivors, several years after initial diagnosis, are more likely to have an unmet need for information or for help with a physical problem than Anglo-Australians. They strongly desire information and support in their own language.

Keywords

Unmet needs Immigrants Cancer CALD Multi-culturalism Cultural competence 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. N. Butow
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. L. Bell
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. J. Aldridge
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Sze
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Eisenbruch
    • 3
  • M. Jefford
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • P. Schofield
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • A. Girgis
    • 7
  • M. King
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. S. Duggal
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. McGrane
    • 8
  • D. Goldstein
    • 9
    • 10
  • on behalf of the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) CALD team
  1. 1.Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG)University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.School of Psychology and PsychiatryMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Cancer Experiences ResearchPeter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health SciencesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Sir Peter MacCallum Department of OncologyThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, South Western Sydney Clinical SchoolUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  8. 8.Pearson Psychometric Laboratory, Faculty of EducationUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  9. 9.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of NSWSydneyAustralia
  10. 10.Dept of Medical OncologyPrince of Wales HospitalSydneyAustralia

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