Barriers to access to palliative care services perceived by gastric cancer patients, their caregivers and physicians in Santander, Colombia.

Affiliation

Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de la Salud y Psicosociales CICSP, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga. Calle 157/19-55, Cañaveral Parque. 68001 Bucaramanga Santander [Email]

Abstract

Gastric cancer (GC) is a public health issue with high incidence and mortality in Colombia due to tardy diagnosis and barriers to access to curative treatment; this leaves palliative care (PC) as the only option. Our aim is to describe the access barriers to PC perceived by adults with GC, caregivers and physician in Santander, Colombia. A qualitative study was carried out with the analysis of the grounded theory (Strauss and Corbin), through semi-structured interviews, after sampling for convenience we found that the access barriers were: administrative, economic, cultural, knowledge, communication, institutional and geographical; strategies to overcome barriers: screening programs, governmental surveillance, and investment in health. In conclusion, access to PC requires remove barriers to timely and integral access and strengthen health and education policies to facilitate procedures and services that ensure the attention required by the adult with GC.

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