Experiences of accessing and using breast cancer services in Vietnam: a descriptive qualitative study

Chris Jenkins*, Tran Thu Ngan, Nguyen Bao Ngoc, Ho Thi Hien, Nguyen Hoang Anh, Lynne Lohfeld, Michael Donnelly, Hoang Van Minh, Liam Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: To understand, describe and analyse the experiences of women with breast cancer in Vietnam when accessing and using breast cancer services.

Design: Descriptive qualitative study. Women were interviewed about their experiences from the first time they became aware of symptoms or changes to their body through treatment and post-treatment. This study is the first descriptive study on breast cancer in Vietnam from the perspective of women with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Participants: Women (n=13) who had completed or were still receiving treatment for breast cancer, purposively recruited from the north and south of Vietnam.

Results: An analysis of the experiences of women with breast cancer in Vietnam revealed a lack of awareness and knowledge about breast cancer and symptoms. Family and social support were described as key factors influencing whether a woman accesses and uses breast cancer services. Cost of treatment and out-of-pocket expenditures limited access to services and resulted in significant financial challenges for women and their families.

Conclusions: Vietnam has made huge strides in improving cancer care, and is tackling a complex and expanding public health challenge, however, there are a number of areas requiring strengthening and future research. While Vietnam has successfully expanded social health insurance coverage, changes that increase the percentage of costs covered for specific treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, could benefit women and their families.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere035173
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • vietnam
  • global health
  • qualitative

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