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    Research Grants Awarded

    Stress Management Tool Kit for Latinas Coping with Chemotherapy (Un Programa Para el Manejo del Stress Durante la Quimioterapia)

    Study Section:
    Population Specific

    Scientific Abstract:
    Studies show that stress management training interventions are effective in improving quality of life in cancer patients. Yet, to date, no research has been published on the development and/or adaptation of such tools for low-literacy, ethnically diverse and non-English speaking populations. The proposed exploratory study builds on an empirically supported English version of a self-administered stress management training intervention for chemotherapy patients that was previously developed and reported by the team. The proposed project also builds on an existing strong community partnership with Latina breast cancer survivors who relate the need for culturally specific tools to help them manage their lives during cancer treatment. Study aims are: 1) to conduct formative research t o explore coping and stress management needs of Latina breast cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy; 2) to develop and adapt a patient self-administered stress management intervention (video/DVD, booklet, audio CD) for Latinas in Spanish using a series of systematic methods; and 3) to evaluate the Spanish-language self-administered stress management intervention in terms of acceptability, attraction, understanding, persuasion, self-efficacy and overall satisfaction. The research involves three phases. In Phase I , using established qualitative methods, we conduct focus groups and open-ended, in-depth interviews to explore information, skill, coping and stress management needs of Latina breast cancer patients who have recently undergone chemotherapy. We also interview health professionals who serve Latina breast cancer survivors. In Phase II , we apply the information from Phase I and infuse it into the development and adaptation of the patient self-administered stress-management training intervention specifically for Latina women. We will employ a series of learner verification/pretesting measures to verify the suitability of the intervention. In Phase III , we conduct a final set of focus groups to obtain reactions and satisfaction with the newly created materials, and to explore how this self-administered intervention can best be implemented in clinical settings and future clinical trials. This research is expected to yield a cultural, linguistic and literacy-relevant Spanish-language patient self-administered stress management training intervention that can be exported and used in larger multi-site intervention studies and widely disseminated in oncology settings.

    Lay Abstract:
    Studies show that reducing stress during chemotherapy improves the quality of life of cancer patients. However, very little research has been done to develop or adapt stress management training materials for multicultural and non-English speaking populations. The proposed project builds on an English version of a self-administered stress management training program for patients getting chemotherapy that was previously developed by the research team. The proposed project builds on our strong relationships with Latina breast cancer survivors who tell us that a need exists for materials in Spanish to help them cope with stress during cancer treatment. Our study aims are to: 1) explore the coping and stress management needs of Latina breast cancer patients who get chemotherapy; 2) create a Spanish stress management training program, which includes a video, audio CD and booklet; and 3) evaluate the Spanish-language stress management training materials. The study takes place in three parts. In the first part, we talk to Latina breast cancer survivors who have received chemotherapy to learn about their coping, information and stress management needs. We also talk to health providers that work with Latina breast cancer survivors. In part two, we take the information learned from part one and develop Spanish-language stress management training materials for Latinas. We plan to pretest the materials to make sure that they are easy-to-understand, are culturally acceptable and offer helpful ways to reduce stress. In the last part of the project, we present the newly created materials with a group of Latina breast cancer survivors to find out their reactions and satisfaction with them. We also hope to learn the best way get the materials out to other breast cancer survivors. At the end of this study, we expect to have stress management training materials in Spanish that can help Latina breast cancer patients deal well with the stress of chemotherapy. We plan to use the materials in a larger study and distribute them to community and health care organizations that provide cancer care.