Assessing Cancer Care Coordination in Rural Health Clinics During a Pandemic

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2020
Project completed:
March 2023

This project leveraged growing collaborative efforts between the Rural and Minority Health Research Center (RMHRC) and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) to assess and improve cancer prevention and control among rural residents. This project aimed to understand how Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) perceived and implemented evidence-based cancer screening and treatment and related intervention strategies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, this project identified what types of cancer screening are offered in RHCs, their diagnostic, treatment, referral, care coordination, payment, and surveillance processes, barriers and facilitators of evidence-based cancer prevention and control interventions among RHCs, and how these practices, processes, barriers, and facilitators have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Along with NOSORH and NARHC, RMHRC conducted an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study to assess and describe how RHCs provide cancer-relevant services across the continuum of cancer care from prevention through survivorship both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.