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Ed Sheeran

Cultural intervention can cut lung cancer death rate

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University of Waikato researchers have identified ways Māori lung cancer surival rates can be improved through culturally safe care and a workforce that understands the needs of Māori patients and whānau.

Population health professor Ross Lawrenson, who headed the three-year Health Research Council-funded study of late diagnosis of lung cancer among Māori communities, says it identified barriers preventing Māori from accessing primary care.

These include the mounting costs of multiple appointments, symptom ambiguity and the importance of trust and understanding between Māori patients and their GPs.

He says with lung cancer mortality rates three to four times higher for Māori than non-Māori, intervention was critical.

Working with local communities, the research team developed a Hā Ora website for resources and self-help, alongside other interventions including lung cancer awareness videos and a kaiāwhina training programme to help upskill health staff.

Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com

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