New paper out from CANCERLESS Project on cancer prevention in people experiencing homelessness

July 24, 2023by Grabovac Group

A new paper published in the top journal of the Lancet Publishing Group – eClinicalMedicine – shows the first empiric results of the CANCERLESS project. The new publication lead by Tobias Schiffler, a PhD student on the CANCERLESS project, mapped out experiences of people experiencing homelessness in four European countries (Austria, Greece, Spain and the UK)  when accessing cancer prevention services and provided considerations for implementation of tailored cancer preventive interventions. The study used qualitative design and employed an interative content analysis. Preventive services, such as cancer prevention, are often seen as luxury, a sentiment shared by both people experiencing homelessness and professionals who work with them. However, even as there are competing interests, people experiencing homelessness are still aware that their experiences contribute to ill health and that concerned about the long term effects. This view is often not shared by professionals who completely disregard the health aspects in favor of what they percieve as more pressing needs. Overall, the study authors note that most of the work is done in paternalistic top-down fashion and that people experiencing homelessness are rarely, if not ever, invited to provide their opinions when interventions are being devised. “Interventions need to have long term implementation, focus on developing trust with communities, be flexible, easily accessible and multilingual in order to be successful.”, adds first author of the study Tobias Schiffler. “This is exactly what the CANCERLESS project is doing…”, continues Igor Grabovac the principal investigator and CANCERLESS coordinator, “utilizing participatory co-design to ensure that the contexts and realities of people experiencing homelessness are not only taken into account, but are the most important aspect, when developing interventions such as the Health Navigator Model.”.

Read a press release by the Medical University of Vienna here, and you can read the full published paper in open access here.



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