Reducing disparities in mortality and survival for rural Victorians with colorectal cancer

Project Details

Colorectal cancer is a common, high burden cancer in Australia. In Victoria, rural colorectal cancer patients have poorer survival and higher mortality than urban counterparts. The problem is complex, but health service factors likely contribute to poorer outcomes. Research in this area can provide an evidence-base for the development of appropriate policy responses to reduce disparities. This study aims to inform the development of potential health service policies to reduce the disparity in mortality and survival for rural colorectal cancer patients in Victoria.

A mixed methods design is being used to investigate Victorian rural and urban colorectal patient care pathways, including time to diagnosis and treatment, and patient experiences of current processes of care. Comparisons with Victorian breast cancer patients are being undertaken to further inform the findings as there are no rural-urban cancer outcome disparities in this group. In addition, a scoping review and interviews with key informants will investigate international innovations in health service delivery for rural cancer patients, and identify how and why programs work.

Findings will be synthesised into potential health system policy responses to address rural colorectal cancer disparity in Victoria. Final results are expected in 2016.


Rebecca Bergin
Professor Jon Emery (supervisor)
Dr. Victoria White (supervisor)
Ms. Ruth Bollard (supervisor)


Department of Health, Victoria (funding)
Cancer Council Victoria (support)

Research Group

Cancer in Primary Care

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

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