Over two million people in the UK have been diagnosed with cancer. Limited evidence suggests there are disparities in access to cancer services for particular groups. Specifically there is some evidence that people with disabilities are more likely be diagnosed with cancer later when it is at an advanced stage compared to people without disabilities. This has been linked, among other factors, to reduced use of screening services and increased barriers to accessing care.
This project builds upon a current Tenovus Cancer Care iGrant on experiences of cancer care for people with physical disabilities.
This study used interviews to understand peoples experience of cancer services as someone with a pre-existing physical disability and data from public health Wales and the national survey for Wales to explore inequalities for people with disabilities.
Results from the analysis of health data showed that people with disabilities were less likely to attend cancer screening services and have a later stage of cancer at diagnosis. Findings from the interviews showed that people with pre-existing physical disabilities going through cancer care face additional barriers to receiving safe and timely care such as lack of suitable equipment, lack of staff knowledge and not feeling listened to.
The results suggest that inequalities in cancer care do exist for people with disabilities on the wider level, shown through the quantitative data analysis and on a personal level, shown through in-depth interviews.
This PhD was part funded through the Knowledge and Economy Skills Scholarship 2 Programme which you can find out more about here