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Health Soc Work. 2012 Nov;37(4):216-24.

Building family capacity for Native Hawaiian women with breast cancer.

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Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.


Native Hawaiian women have the highest breast cancer incidence and mortality rates when compared with other large ethnic groups in Hawai'i. Like other women, they rely on the support of their families as co-survivors. This project explored the feasibility and effects of a culturally tailored educational intervention designed to build family capacity by improving the knowledge and skills of the woman and her family in dealing with breast cancer, particularly in the latter stage of recovery care. Twenty-nine Native Hawaiian women with breast cancer, along with a close family member, were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 15) or a wait-list control group (n = 14). The authors assessed the knowledge, self-efficacy, and coping skills of women and their family members and the recovery care behaviors of the women at baseline and at four months (after the intervention or control period). The intervention group made significant improvements in self-efficacy and coping; the wait-list control group did not. Evaluation of the intervention suggests that it was well received by participants. This work has relevance for social workers wanting to design and test culturally appropriate interventions for minority groups.

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