Background. Geographic isolation may limit health care access due to burdens of time, cost and travel distance. We explored rural childhood cancer survivors’ experiences and concerns about accessing affordable, quality care. Methods. In-depth, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 17 rural adult survivors recruited from the Utah Cancer Registry. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and content analyzed with NVivo 9 by two coders (kappa = 0.93). Results. Two primary themes emerged: (1) concerns about health care quality and (2) geographic and insurance issues. Within these main themes, we identified salient sub-themes: quality of primary care, patient-provider trust, specialty care access, travel burdens, and financial and insurance concerns. Conclusions. Rural childhood cancer survivors have concerns about local health care services, but are willing to travel several hours to receive care. Partnerships between local primary care and cancer specialty providers via telemedicine that incorporate survivor care plans could improve risk-based care for rural survivors.


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pp. 901-912
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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