Disparities exist in outcomes for Indigenous people with cancer compared to the non-Indigenous population. A complex interplay of patient, health system, socioeconomic and cultural factors contribute to these disparities. In addition to poorer treatment and survival outcomes, many Indigenous cancer patients have moderate to high unmet needs, and a range of worries, cancer-related fear and negative feelings. While limited data is available on the supportive care needs of Indigenous cancer patients, assessment of these needs and whether they are being met or not is important in improving their health outcomes and quality of life.
Supportive care is one of the key principles underpinning the Optimal Cancer Care Pathways (OCP) for cancer. Identifying the supportive care needs of cancer patients using a validated screening tool is an important step towards being able to address those needs. The SCNAT-IP is a validated, culturally-specific assessment tool that captures the unique unmet supportive care needs of Indigenous people with cancer.