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Gatekeepers' perceptions of the quality and availability of services for breast and cervical cancer patients in the English-speaking Windward Islands: an exploratory investigation.
Thomas-Purcell KB, Tarver WL, Richards C, Primus-Joseph M. Gatekeepers' perceptions of the quality and availability of services for breast and cervical cancer patients in the English-speaking Windward Islands: an exploratory investigation. Cancer Causes & Control : Ccc. 2017 Nov 1; 28(11):1195-1206.
Although extensive screening services for breast and cervical cancers are available in the Caribbean, these cancers continue to be the leading causes of cancer death among women in this region. The purpose of this study was to determine the quality and availability of breast and cervical cancer treatment care and support services from the perspective of the gatekeepers who provide care for the patients in the Windward Islands of Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St. Vincent.
A qualitative research design using semi-structured, in-depth interviews was used to gather data from gatekeepers who provided oncology prevention and care services to patients for at least one year. Data were collected on availability and quality of cancer care and treatment services and coded using the themes obtained via thematic analysis of the data.
Twenty-three current providers participated in the study (Dominica, 5; Grenada, 7; St. Lucia, 5; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 6). The participants'' years of work experience ranged from 2 to 45 years. The codes encompassed a range of social ecological factors that influence breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment in the Windward Islands. The emergent themes were availability of resources, cost of care, and social support.
The findings of this study emphasize the varying social determinants of health that affect breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment. It also highlights the disparities in availability of treatment within the wider Caribbean. It is necessary to broaden the perspective on health from a purely biomedical paradigm to a social perspective.