The treatment experiences of Australian women with gynaecological cancers and how they can be improved: a qualitative study

Jo Wainer, Eileen Willis, Judith Dwyer, Debra King, Kei Owada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gynaecological cancers are the fourth most common form of cancer and the fifth most common cause of cancer mortality for women in Australia. Definitive treatment is available in tertiary hospitals in major capital cities. This study aimed to understand how care is received by women in order to improve both their experience and outcomes. We interviewed 25 women treated for ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers in public or private hospitals in four states, including urban, rural and Indigenous women. Referral pathways were efficient and effective; the women were diagnosed and referred for definitive management through well-established systems. They appreciated the quality of treatment and the care they received during the inpatient and acute phases of their care. Three main problems were identified - serious post-operative morbidity that caused additional pain and suffering, lack of coordination between the surgical team and general practitioners, and poor pain management. The lack of continuity between the acute and primary care settings and inadequate management of pain are acknowledged problems in health care. The extent of post-operative morbidity was not anticipated. Establishing links between the surgical team and primary care in the immediate post-operative period is crucial for the improvement of care for women with gynaecological cancer in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalReproductive Health Matters
Volume20
Issue number40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Cervical cancer
  • Continuity of care
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Post-operative morbidity
  • Rural health
  • Uterine cancer
  • Women's health services

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