Telemedicine for rural cancer care in North Queensland: Bringing cancer care home

  • Sabesan S
  • Larkins S
  • Evans R
 et al. 
  • 77

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 50

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Objective: To describe the use of telemedicine in cancer care (teleoncology model of care) for rural patients in North Queensland.Design: This is a descriptive study. Data on demographical and clinical factors were retrieved from the teleoncology database of Townsville Hospital and review of medical records for the period between May 2007 and May 2011.Setting and Participants: The medical oncologists at the Townsville Cancer Centre, a regional cancer centre in North Queensland, have been providing their services to rural hospitals in Townsville and Mt Isa districts via videoconferencing since 2007.Intervention: Cancer care delivery to rural sites via Townsville teleoncology model.Main Outcome Measures: The ability of the teleoncology model to provide the following services to rural towns: (i) specialist consultations; (ii) urgent specialist medical care; (iii) care for Indigenous patients; and (iv) remote supervision of chemotherapy administration.Results: Between May 2007 and May 2011, 158 patients from 18 rural towns received a total of 745 consultations. Ten of these patients were consulted urgently and treatment plans initiated locally, avoiding interhospital transfers. Eighteen Indigenous patients received consultative services, being accompanied by more than four to six family members. Eighty-three patients received a range of intravenous and oral chemotherapy regimens in Mt Isa and oral agents in other towns through remote supervision by medical oncologists from Townsville.Conclusion: Teleoncology model of care allows rural and Indigenous cancer patients to receive specialist consultations and chemotherapy treatments closer to home, thus minimising the access difficulties faced by the rural sector.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Access
  • Indigenous health
  • Model of rural services
  • Oncology
  • Rural health
  • Teleoncology

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Sabe Sabesan

  • Sarah Larkins

  • Rebecca Evans

  • Suresh Varma

  • Athena Andrews

  • Petra Beuttner

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free