Barriers to cancer care among American Indians and Alaska natives

Craig N. Sawchuk, Emily Van Dyke, Adam Omidpanah, Joan E. Russo, Ursula Tsosie, Jack Goldberg, Dedra Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction. Cancer is among the leading causes of death in American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), with rates increasing over the last two decades. Barriers in accessing cancer screening and treatment likely contribute to this situation. Methods. We administered structured clinical interviews and conducted descriptive and multiple linear regression analyses of demographic, health, spiritual, and treatment factors associated with self-reported barriers to cancer care among 143 adult AI/AN oncology patients. Results. High levels of satisfaction with cancer care, older age, positive mental health quality of life, and positive physical health quality of life were all significantly associated with lower scores for cancer care barriers, explaining 27% of the total model variance. Conclusion. Addressing barriers to cancer care might help to reduce health disparities among AI/AN oncology patients. Future research should determine whether reducing barriers improves engagement with cancer treatment and overall health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-96
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Alaska native
  • American indian
  • Cancer
  • Health care barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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