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UWindsor Nursing Study Aims to Address Social Isolation Within 2SLGBTQIA+ Cancer Community

Tuesday August 15th, 2023, 10:59am

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A University of Windsor Nursing professor is inviting members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who are currently cancer patients, cancer survivors, or family members, partners, or friends of someone experiencing cancer to participate in the Compassion Cancer Pride intervention project.

Funded by a $30,000 research grant from the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation’s Seeds4Hope program, the Compassionate Cancer Pride project launched in January 2021 with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer, questioning, two-spirit, or other non-binary identities throughout their cancer journeys.

Research indicates that individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ bare a disproportionate cancer burden. Many within this community face barriers in seeking cancer screening and have lower social support, leading to poorer cancer outcomes.

Dr. Kathy Pfaff says that preliminary findings from the project reveal disheartening experiences of discrimination and stigmatization within the care system for many participants, hindering access to adequate care and support.

“Social isolation and reluctance to seek preventative cancer care are some of the significant challenges faced by 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals during their cancer journeys,” Pfaff said.

The project uses a compassion communities model developed by a team of Ontario researchers, including Pfaff. Together with the Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community, the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, and Trans Wellness Ontario, the project aims to improve individual, family, and community wellness. Pfaff’s team will look for ways to connect participants with supports in the community and to each other.

If you are part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Cancer Community and would like to participate in the study, visit uwindsor.ca/nursing/YourStory.

The study will wrap up this fall, and the results will be published in a report that will be shared on the WE-Spark Health Institute website and through Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.

 

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