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    Research Grants Awarded

    The Impact Of Functional Burden On Psychological And Familial Functioning And Access To Follow-Up Care Among Asian American Breast Cancer Survivors

    Study Section:
    Population Specific

    Scientific Abstract:
    Background: Few studies include sufficient numbers of Asian Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS) to adequately understand and address the impact of cancer on their psychological, social and follow-up medical care needs. One important source of distress particularly among underserved Asian cancer survivors is functional strain (family and work burdens). Asian American women, particularly lower SES BCS often face greater functional burden related to job and multi-generational family care-giving responsibilities. Preliminary research suggests that functional strain may negatively impact BCS psychological functioning as well as their utilization of follow-up medical care (Ashing-Giwa et al, 2003). Objectives: The study addresses four important questions: (1) Are there socio-ecological and cultural factors that influence functional outcomes? (2) Can we identify risk factors for poor functional outcomes? (3) What are the psychological and familial sequelae of functional strain and (4) Is functional strain a risk factor for lower access and utilization of follow-up cancer-related medical care? Specific Aims: (1) Identify the impact of functional burden on psychological and family functioning and utilization to follow-up care among Asian American BCS; (2) Examine functional burden from a contextual framework by including socio-ecological and cultural variables. Study Design: This study follows a case control design with mixed sampling that includes population based and convenient sampling methods. This comprehensive study examines socio-ecological and cultural variables as potential mediators of psychosocial outcome. The survey instrument includes standard measures and newly developed culturally consonant items that assess functional burden, depression, anxiety, family functioning, utilization of follow-up medical care and HRQOL in a sample of 50 Chinese, 50 Japanese and 50 Filipina American BCS. Potential Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: This study will gather new information that will increase our knowledge about resource needs of Asian BCS for follow-up social and medical care after the initial cancer treatment. This knowledge is needed for the continuity of care but otherwise non-existent. Many women may fall through the net of care because we have not yet identified all pertinent risk factors. The findings will inform efforts of clinicians and researchers who are vested in reducing the burden of breast cancer and preserve family, work and overall well-being.

    Lay Abstract:
    Background: Few studies include sufficient numbers of Asian Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS) to understand and address the impact of cancer on their emotional, social and follow-up medical care needs. One important source of distress especially among underserved Asian BCS is functional strain (family and work burdens). Asian American women, particularly lower SES BCS often face greater functional burden due to job and multi-generational family care-giving duties. Preliminary research suggests that functional burden may negatively impact BCS's psychological well-being as well as their use of follow-up cancer-related medical care (Ashing-Giwa et al, 2003). Objectives: The study addresses four important questions: (1) Are there ethnic and socio-ecological (e.g., education, income) factors that influence functional outcomes? (2) Can we identify risk factors for poor functional outcomes? (3) What are the psychological and familial sequelae of functional strain and (4) Is functional strain a risk factor for lower access and use of follow-up cancer-related medical care? Specific Aims: (1) Identify the impact of functional burden on psychological and family functioning and use to follow-up care among Asian American BCS; (2) Examine functional burden from a contextual framework by including socio-ecological and cultural variables. Study Design: This quantitative study will recruit BCS from the general population (Cancer Registry) and community agencies. This comprehensive study examines the role of socio-ecological and cultural factors on functional burden, psychological well-being and use of follow-up medical care. The survey instrument includes standard measures and newly developed items informed by previous multiethnic studies to assess functional burden, depression, anxiety, family functioning, use of follow-up care and HRQOL with 50 Chinese, 50 Japanese and 50 Filipina American BCS. Potential Outcomes and Benefits of the Research: This study will gather new information that will increase our knowledge about resource needs of Asian BCS for follow-up social and medical care after the initial cancer treatment. This knowledge is needed for the continuity of care but otherwise non-existent. Many women may fall through the net of care because we have not yet identified all pertinent risk factors. The findings will inform efforts of clinicians and researchers who are vested in reducing the burden of breast cancer and preserve family, work and overall well-being.