Poster Presentation Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference 2020

'Light in the Darkness' Palliative Care for Chinese Speaking Cancer Patients and Caregivers (#102)

Dr George Zhang 1 , Sabrina Man 2 , Agnes Lung 2 , Prof Danforn Lim 3 , Carmen Sanchez 4
  1. School of Health Sciences, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
  2. Support Service, CanRevive Inc., Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Australia Chinese Medical Association, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. Community Palliative Care Team, Calvary Healthcare Kogarah, Kogarah, NSW, Australia


Chinese-Australians, remains mostly hidden and underrepresented in palliative care service delivery despite being the fastest growing such group in the country (ABS, 2013). Research had found that immigrants and racially identified minority groups diagnosed with cancer have poorer health outcomes than non-immigrant groups (P. Butow et al., 2011; Silva et al., 2016) due to the cultural and language differences and barriers (P. N. Butow et al., 2011; Moore & Butow, 2004; Ngo‐Metzger et al., 2003; Phillipson, Larsen-Truong, Jones, & Pitts, 2012)

 CanRevive Inc, a public benevolent institution for Chinese speaking cancer patients and caregivers in Sydney had identified the lack of researches to address such barriers in access to palliative care and had created the project called ‘Light in the Darkness’. CanRevive worked in partnership with Calvary Health Care Kogarah and Australian Chinese Medical Association, to identify present needs for Australian Chinese cancer patients.

 As the result, a culturally and linguistically appropriate information tool kit was developed.


To identify the issues and barriers of Chinese patients and their families in accessing palliative care service and develop information and service strategies to improve the quality palliative and end-of-life care.


Four sessions of “Palliative Care Service Information Session” were organised by CanRevie and presented by medical specialists and nurse practitioner. 

Qualitative 1:1 interview and quantitative survey were used.


There were 4 main themes were identified from the in-depth interviews and 136 surveys were collected.

The participants had found relief after attending the session.

Implications for practice

A culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate booklet in Traditional Chinese & Simplified Chinese and an audio CD in both Cantonese & Mandarin speaking was developed.


From this project, we identified the impact of language barriers on palliative care services, highlights the importance to collaborate with medical professionals, Chinese cancer patients, caregivers using a more comprehensive, culturally competent, and language preferred care. This tool kits with the consideration of cultural complexities of Chinese, will help to improve the patient and caregiver’s experiences and on the quality of the care.