Characteristics of chemotherapy practice in rural and remote area health facilities in Queensland

McCarthy, Alexandra L., Hegney, Desley, Brown , Leisa, Gilbar, Peter, Brobribb, Robert, & Swales, June (2003) Characteristics of chemotherapy practice in rural and remote area health facilities in Queensland. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 11(3), pp. 138-144.

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The overall objective of this study was to document the nature of the chemotherapy nursing practice of rural and remote area nurses in Queensland.


A questionnaire survey that elicited descriptive quantitative and qualitative data.


Forty-seven rural and remote area health facilities in Queensland involved in the administration of chemotherapy.


Sixty-seven Queensland rural and remote area nurses involved in the administration of cytotoxic drugs. Main outcome measures: Characteristics of chemotherapy practice including context of practice, amount and type of chemotherapy administered, logistical problems, level of support from referral centres, policies and procedures, safety issues.


The results indicate that the risks to nursing staff and the potential for poor patient outcomes are higher than in specialist chemotherapy facilities. This is largely due to the human and material resource constraints characteristic of rural practice. These include a lack of understanding on the part of metropolitan-based health departments and the specialist cancer centres that refer patients to rural areas of the constraints that may adversely influence patient outcomes.


It is essential that steps are taken to ensure that rural and remote area cancer patients have equitable access to safe and competent chemotherapy care delivered in their choice of context, and the results of this study provide guidance on ways that this can be achieved.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 64542
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: chemotherapy practice, chemotherapy , rural and remote, Queensland, Australia
DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1584.2003.00475.x
ISSN: 1440-1584
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 18 Nov 2013 22:12
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2013 22:12

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