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    Research Grants Awarded

    Building Family Capacity for Hawaiian Women with Breast Cancer: Feasibility

    Study Section:
    Breast Cancer Disparities

    Scientific Abstract:
    Background: The family is a primary source of social support for cancer survivors, yet, there is limited attention on the role of the family in ethnic minority populations. For Native Hawaiians, a population with a disproportionate burden from cancer, the family is a natural setting in which to build capacity to enhance support. Of particular importance is coping and recovery care following primary cancer treatment, when cancer as a stressor becomes chronic, and families? ability to provide care is often eroded by the fatigue of long-term support. While culture influences the way that Native Hawaiians experience cancer, there are few culturally-tailored interventions to support this population. Specific Aim: This project explores the feasibility of a culturally-tailored intervention to enhance coping and recovery care following primary cancer treatment, by building `ohana (family) support for Native Hawaiian women with breast cancer. The intervention builds `ohana capacity by improving knowledge and efficacy in accessing information, managing the household, and communicating with healthcare providers. Objectives/Hypothesis: Objectives are to: (1) determine the feasibility of an intervention, with attention to issues of recruitment, retention, intervention protocol, and measures, and (2) document the effects of the intervention in improving coping and recovery care. It is hypothesized that the Native Hawaiian women and their families in the intervention group will show greater improvements in knowledge, self-efficacy, coping and recovery care when compared with Native Hawaiian women and their families in the wait-list control group. The feasibility evaluation will allow us to examine the intervention. Study Design: Fifty Native Hawaiian women who are 1-3 years post-diagnosis for localized breast cancer (Stages 1 & 2a) and their closest family members will be randomly assigned to the intervention or wait-list control groups. The 4-session culturally-tailored educational intervention spans 4 months in which participants receive materials and training in accessing information on cancer from the telephone and internet, managing household roles and responsibilities, and communicating with healthcare providers. The wait-list control group receives educational materials only, although at the end of the project they have the option of receiving the intervention. Potential Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: Intervention effects are assessed for knowledge, self-efficacy, coping and recovery care. In addition, a feasibility evaluation examines issues of recruitment, retention, protocol, measures and overall details of the intervention. The benefit of this intervention for Native Hawaiian women with breast cancer is that in improving coping and recovery care, it holds the promise of reducing the overall burden from cancer.

    Lay Abstract:
    The family is a primary source of social support for cancer survivors, yet, there is limited attention on the role of the family in ethnic minority populations. For Native Hawaiians, a population with high mortality rates and lower survival rates from breast cancer when compared with other populations in the U.S., the family is a natural setting in which to build capacity to enhance support. Of particular importance is coping and recovery care following primary cancer treatment, when cancer as a stressor becomes chronic, and families? ability to provide care is often eroded by the fatigue of long-term support. Culture influences the way that Native Hawaiians experience cancer, yet there are few culturally-tailored interventions to support this population. This project explores the feasibility of a culturally-tailored intervention to enhance coping and recovery care following primary cancer treatment, by building `ohana (family) support for Native Hawaiian women with breast cancer. The objectives of the project are to: (1) determine the feasibility of the intervention, and (2) document the effects of the intervention in improving coping and recovery care. To do so, 50 Native Hawaiian women who are 1-3 years post-diagnosis for localized breast cancer (Stages 1 & 2a), and their closest family member, will be randomized into the intervention or wait-list control groups. The educational intervention, 4 sessions over a 4 month period, consists of participants receiving materials and training in: (a) accessing information on cancer from the telephone and internet, (b) managing the household, and (c) communicating with healthcare providers. The wait-list control will receive educational materials only, although at the end of the project, they have the option of receiving the intervention. Measures on knowledge, self-efficacy, coping, and recovery care will be assessed for all participants. A feasibility evaluation will be administered to intervention participants only. It is hypothesized that the Native Hawaiian women and their families in the intervention group will show greater improvements in knowledge and self-efficacy thereby enhancing coping and recovery care, when compared with Native Hawaiian women and their families in the wait-list control group. Finally, the feasibility evaluation will allow us to examine the intervention, with attention to recruitment, retention, intervention protocol and measures, and overall success.