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Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 May;28(3):e13013. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13013. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Culture, identity, strength and spirituality: A qualitative study to understand experiences of African American women breast cancer survivors and recommendations for intervention development.

Author information

1
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
2
Professor Emerita, College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
3
Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, Maryland.
4
Cancer Center, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
5
Exercise Science Program, College of Health Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
6
The Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
7
Department of Behavioral Science, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
8
College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
9
School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Despite advancements in cancer treatment, racial disparities in breast cancer survival persist, with African American women experiencing lower survival rates and poorer quality of life than non-Hispanic White women. Using a social cognitive model of restorative well-being as a framework, this qualitative study sought: (a) to examine strength- and culture-related factors associated with African American female breast cancer survivors' cancer coping and post-treatment experiences and (b) to make recommendations for culturally sensitive intervention.

METHODS:

Eight focus groups occurred with a total of 40 local African American breast cancer survivors. Focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Framework analyses were used to identify themes. NVivo qualitative analysis software-managed data.

RESULTS:

Two major themes emerged from the focus group discussions: (a) God enables breast cancer survivorship and works every day in our lives and (b) the healthiest thing about us is that we are strong African American women. Recommendations for intervention planning and implementation were made towards intervention structure, content development and language framing in a local context.

CONCLUSION:

Findings suggest a need for community-based participatory survivorship interventions that are culturally and spiritually consonant and peer-based. Such interventions may respond to the cancer-related and personal needs of the target population.

KEYWORDS:

African American women; breast cancer survivors; qualitative study; quality of life; spirituality

PMID:
30761637
DOI:
10.1111/ecc.13013

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