Opportunities - Increasing Access to Palliative Care for Advanced Cancer Patients from Racialized Communities of African and Latin American Descent

Increasing Access to Palliative Care for Advanced Cancer Patients from Racialized Communities of African and Latin American Descent
University of Alberta

Background
In this proposed study, we will develop an ‘access to palliative care’ strategy through collaboration and partnership with advanced cancer patients, families and community members of African and Latin American descent. To ensure this research is meaningful, and reflects what matters most to families and communities, we will engage patients (including families and communities) as partners in the design of the strategy and follow their perspectives, guidance, and lived experiences in the planning and undertaking of the study. Our study team also involves members from these communities with expertise doing research with these populations and a first-hand understanding of their sociocultural identities.
This study builds on our research work to date with advanced cancer patients experiencing socioeconomic inequities. We have learned from their experiences that social disparities create delays and challenges in access to care. Studies in other countries show that people of African and Latin American descent are overrepresented in those with advanced cancer diagnosis, a significant cancer disparity. We know that social inequality contributes to cancer disparities and we know that racialized communities in Canada experience inequality.
This study will assist us- with direction from the community – to take this knowledge to action as we take steps to lessen inequalities affecting advanced cancer patients of African and Latin American descent. In 2031, about one-third of the Canadian population will belong to a racialized community. A significant number of members from racialized communities will access cancer care in the course of their lives and require palliative care. This study will assist us to explore, together with community members, more appropriate approaches to improve equity and increase the health and wellness of racialized communities living with advanced cancer in Canada.

Roles and Responsibilities
We are seeking to engage patients, families and community members in the following roles:
1. Patient Partners: To join the research team and collaborate on the development of the study plan: the application is due July 20, 2022. We are looking to have one to two hour meetings with patient partners June 29, July 4 and/or 11, 2022.
2. Community Advisory Group members: If the application is successful, we will establish a community advisory group to oversee and guide the development of the ‘access to palliative care’ strategy. This group will meet once a month for 2 years beginning in Fall 2022.
3. Patient Participants: We would like to interview patients, families and caregivers of African and/or Latin American descent with lived experience of late cancer diagnosis to learn their perspectives and experiences of access to cancer and palliative care, inequalities in access and to use these finding to help inform strategies to improving access to care. Interviews would be approximately 45 minutes long, scheduled at a time that is convenient to the participants and held during the first half of 2023.

Time Commitment
We are currently in the grant funding application phase of this project. We could like to hold one to two online Zoom meetings with patient partners to help finalize the patient engagement aspects of our application. Depending on availability we can meet once a week for an hour or have longer bi-weekly meetings. Suggested meeting dates are June 29, July 4 and/or July 11, 2022.
If the project is funded, the study will run for two years. Funding announcement date is October 2022.

Compensation/Reimbursement
Meeting will be held online so there are no parking, travel or other related expenses anticipated.
Patient partners will be offered $25 gift cards for their time and collaboration in the grant application meetings.
If funded, compensation will be offered to patient partners and community advisory group members.
Patient participants will be offered a token of appreciation for their participation in the interviews.

For more information please connect with
Anna Santos Salas                                                                   
avs@ualberta.ca                                                                    
780.492.3618