Creating safer cancer care with ethnic minority patients: a qualitative analysis of experiences of cancer service staff

Ashfaq Chauhan, Bronwyn Newman, Elizabeth Manias, Kathryn Joseph, Desiree Leone, Ramesh Lahiru Walpola, Holly Seale, Allen Ben Smith, Reema Harrison

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Effective consumer engagement practices can enhance patient safety. This is important for consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds who are exposed to increased risk of patient safety events. Using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model, this study explored staff experiences of creating opportunities for engagement with consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds to contribute to their cancer care safety.

A qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with cancer service staff from four cancer services across two states in Australia. Purposive sampling was used to recruit healthcare staff from diverse range of professions. Data was analysed using the Framework Analysis method.

Fifty-four interviews were conducted with healthcare staff. Analysis of the qualitative interview data identified enablers and associated challenges that contributed to creating shared understanding between consumers and staff of the information, processes, expectations and problems arising in care. Enablers and challenges are reported in relation to four themes: (1) consumer- service provider dyad; (2) resources to support consumer engagement for safety; (3) organisational and policy levers; and (4) formal tasks incorporate consumer engagement more readily than informal interactions.

The availability of infrastructure and resources to support communication with consumers from ethnic minority backgrounds was limited to specific tasks across the cancer care continuum. Strategies implemented by health services to foster effective communication during formal interactions now need expansion to support and create conditions for effective consumer engagement during informal and everyday care tasks. Use of innovative language support tools and cultural considerations are required at service and system level to support consumer engagement in all type of care interactions.

Public and patient involvement
This study was embedded within a larger project that included a consumer investigator and was guided by a consumer advisory group (CAG). These consumer team members have lived experience of cancer and are from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The CAG members provided feedback on the draft interview guide and participant information for this study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 24 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameResearch Square


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