AIM: This systematic review aimed to identify the needs and preferences for cancer care services among Australian First Nations people.
DESIGN: Integrative review.
DATA SOURCES: An integrative review was conducted. A wide range of search terms were used to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the searches in electronic databases. Methodological quality assessment, data extraction, was conducted independently by two reviewers, and a narrative synthesis was conducted.
RESULTS: Forty-two studies were included. A total of 2965 Australian First Nations adults, both men and women of various ages across the lifespan, were represented; no First Nations children affected by cancer were represented in the studies. Three themes emerged which included: (1) discrimination, racism and trauma, resulting from colonization, directly impacted First National people's cancer care experience; (2) cultural ways of knowing, being and doing are fundamental to how First Nations people engage with cancer care services; and (3) First Nations people need culturally safe person-centred cancer care services that address practical needs.
CONCLUSION: Most participants represented in this review experienced discrimination, racism and trauma, resulting from colonization, which directly negatively impacted Aboriginal peoples' cancer care experience. While the Optimal Cancer Pathway (OCP) was launched in Australia several years ago, people with cancer may continue to experience distressing unmet care needs.
PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: Our team includes both First Nations people, non-First Nations researchers and healthcare professionals with expertise in cancer care. The researchers employed decolonizing restorative approaches to ensure voice, respect, accountability and reciprocity in this review work.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Members of the multidisciplinary team including nurses and policymakers should reflect on these findings, ensure that they have up-to-date cultural safety training and stand together with Indigenous and non-Indigenous cancer leaders to take proactive steps to stamp out and dismantle oppression in health, and safely implement the OCP.