Latino cancer survivors experience lower psychosocial well-being compared to non-Latino Whites. This study describes the development of a culturally appropriate support group and reports on feasibility of implementation and preliminary outcomes.
Promotores (lay health workers) conducted all aspects of data collection and program implementation. Participants were 29 Spanish-speaking Latino cancer survivors (n = 12 men, 17 women) who took part in one of three study phases. Phase 1 included one-on-one interviews and focus groups (n = 14) to investigate psychosocial needs of survivors. During phase 2, a 10-week program was developed that integrated data from phase 1 and culturally relevant concepts. Session topics included stress, nutrition, physical activity, body image, sexuality, medical advocacy, and social support. In phase 3, the program was implemented within gender-specific groups (n = 15). Within-group pre-post comparisons of distress (distress thermometer, salivary cortisol) and quality of life (FACIT) were conducted. Follow-up focus groups assessed participant experience
Phase 1 activities identified survivor needs and interests (e.g., isolation, family and spirituality, supporting other Latinos with cancer). Evidence of program feasibility was demonstrated (e.g., 90–100 % attendance, 100 % data completion). While interpretation of significance is limited due to sample size, improvements in quality of life [functional (p = 0.05), social (p = 0.02), and meaning/purpose (p = 0.05)] were observed among women but not men. Qualitative follow-up revealed high satisfaction with group participation, but discomfort with the topic of sexuality in women.
This project demonstrates development and feasibility outcomes for providing culturally appropriate psychosocial support to Latino cancer survivors. Limitations, including lack of control group, and future directions are discussed.
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This work was supported by NIH 5U54CA153502 (PI: Thompson, B), new development funds from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), and R25CA92408 (PI: Patrick D). Thank you to Norma Mariscal and Elizabeth Carosso for your assistance with transcription and translation. This manuscript is dedicated to the memory of our colleague and friend Ilda Islas.
This research was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no competing interests to disclose, have full control of all primary data, and agree that the journal may review our data if requested.
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Ceballos, R.M., Molina, Y., Malen, R.C. et al. Design, development, and feasibility of a spanish-language cancer survivor support group. Support Care Cancer 23, 2145–2155 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-014-2549-9