PURPOSE: Despite recognition of both the growing cancer burden in low- and middle-income countries and the disproportionately high mortality rates in these settings, delivery of high-quality cancer care remains a challenge. The disparities in cancer care outcomes for many geographic regions result from barriers that are likely complex and understudied. This study describes the development and use of a streamlined needs assessment questionnaire (NAQ) to understand the barriers to providing quality cancer care, identifies areas for improvement, and formulates recommendations for implementation.METHODS: Using a comprehensive NAQ, in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 hospital staff involved in cancer care at two teaching hospitals in Nigeria. Data were analyzed using content analysis and organized into a framework with preset codes and emergent codes, where applicable.RESULTS: Data from the interviews were organized into six broad themes: staff, stuff, system, space, lack of palliative care, and provider bias, with key barriers within themes including: financial, infrastructural, lack of awareness, limited human capacity resources, lack of palliative care, and provider perspective on patient-related barriers to cancer care. Specific solutions based on ability to reasonably implement were subcategorized into short-, medium-, and long-term goals.CONCLUSION: This study provides a framework for a streamlined initial needs assessment and a unique discussion on the barriers to high-quality oncology care that are prevalent in resource-constrained settings. We report the feasibility of collecting and organizing data using a streamlined NAQ and provide a thorough and in-depth understanding of the challenges in this setting. Knowledge gained from the assessments will inform steps to improve oncology cancer in these settings.
View details for PubMedID 30532992