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Healthc Policy. 2012 Nov;8(2):71-87.

Inequity in access to guideline-recommended colorectal cancer treatment in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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  • 1Graduate Student, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.


Cancer continues to be one of the heaviest burdens of disease in Canada, and assessing potential inequities in access to cancer care may serve as a barometer of the health of Canadian health systems. This study tackled three limitations of the current literature by clearly differentiating between inequality and inequity, by assessing inequity in receipt of care and wait times for care, and by taking advantage of inequity indices to enhance comparability of inequities between studies and populations. We measured income-, age-, sex- and distance-related inequities among colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in Nova Scotia by accounting for clinical guidelines and patient need. Results reveal statistically significant inequity in access to chemotherapy and radiotherapy for CRC by age, sex and distance, but not income. This study demonstrates the importance of carefully examining inequity in access to cancer care and highlights one method to report and compare inequities with conceptual clarity.

Copyright © 2012 Longwoods Publishing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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