Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 08-June-2012, Vol 125 No 1356
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Exploring Maori health worker perspectives on colorectal cancer and screening
Suzanne Pitama, Tami Cave, Tania Huria, Cameron Lacey, Jessica Cuddy, Frank Frizelle
To explore Maori health worker perspectives on colorectal screening and identify factors that may influence Maori participation in a colorectal screening programme.
Thirty Maori health workers were interviewed to explore their experience with screening programmes, knowledge of colorectal cancer and their perspective on a potential colorectal screening programme. Health workers shared their perspective informed by both their own whanau and whanau they encountered professionally through their health work.
Participants were largely positive about potential colorectal screening; however, various access barriers were identified. These included patient-clinician engagement and communication, lack of provision for patientís privacy during screening and patients feeling discouraged to take part in screening. Factors enabling screening included having an established relationship with their General Practitioner, screening clinicians taking time to build rapport, answer questions and share information, screening practices that were inclusive of Maori cultural norms and possessing high health literacy.
Evidence points to growing disparity between the colorectal cancer incidence rates of Maori and non-Maori; disparities in colorectal cancer survival rates are already marked. Participants in the current pilot could provide valuable information to help ensure that the health education, promotion, and clinical practice surrounding a national colorectal screening programme are effective for Maori in reducing disparity and improving health outcomes.
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