Exploring Responsive and Supportive Cancer Care for Racialized Adolescents and Young Adults

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Gill, Paramjot, Kaur
School of leadership studies
Abstract Supervisory Committee: Dr. Cheryl A. Heykoop, Supervisor (School of Leadership Studies, Royal Roads University) Tiffany T. Hill, Committee Member (School of Leadership Studies, Royal Roads University) This thesis focuses on exploring responsive and supportive cancer care for racialized adolescents and young adults (AYAs) in BC through engagement with healthcare professionals working at BC Cancer. Drawing upon participatory action research (PAR) and patient-oriented research (POR) methodologies, the study engaged healthcare professionals through a modified focus group and semi-structured interviews to explore how they could be more supportive and responsive to racialized AYAs navigating cancer care in BC. The research was approved by Royal Roads University and the BC Cancer Research Ethics Boards and adhered to the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Research Involving Humans. Prior to engaging healthcare providers for this thesis project, Anew Research Collaborative (Anew) conducted interviews with racialized AYAs as a part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded project aimed to improve cancer care for racialized AYAs in BC. The interviews were analyzed through a thorough and comprehensive data analysis process to generate the preliminary themes and quotes shared with healthcare professionals. It is important to note that the author of this thesis is a team member of Anew. Findings from this thesis research with healthcare professionals highlight the need for culturally responsive training and education, the role of burnout amongst healthcare professionals, and the need to prioritize responsive programs and services for racialized AYAs. Findings also draw attention to the importance of healthcare professionals listening to, seeking to understand, creating safety, and advocating with racialized AYAs in the cancer care system to co-create change that is supportive and reflective of patient needs and realities. Keywords: Adolescent and young adults (AYA), Racialized AYAs, Racism, Systemic Racism, Cancer care
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