American Federation for Medical Research

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Minority Inner City Patients' Needs during Their Cancer Care
Camilla Melegari1, Gwyneth Sultan1, Luna Samman1, Hesham Taha2, Iuliana Shapira1. 1SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Syosset, New York, United States, 2Hematology Oncology, Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, United States

Purpose of Study Racial and ethnic minority patients have greater illness burden, disparities in all aspects of care, and higher mortality. We assessed patient needs during their cancer treatment utilizing hospital approved navigation questionnaires: To understand what patients want from their healthcare providers and to identify the attributes that matter most to them. To understand what physicians want for their patients, regardless of cost, and how those priorities compare to what consumers think they need.
Methods Used This prospective cohort study was conducted as part of a quality improvement of navigation process. We used validated questionnaires. The Institutional Review Board approved the study and provided a waiver of informed consent for participation. Patients were eligible if they were actively receiving chemotherapy at the hospital's outpatient infusion center for a diagnosis of cancer, at least 18 years old, and English speaking. Patients were allowed to complete questionnaires at their own pace before, during, or after chemotherapy; so long as the questionnaires were returned the same day
Summary of Results 67 consecutive patients presenting for chemotherapy participated, median age of 62 years (range 19-82), 96% were Black with stage IV breast, lung, prostate and uterine cancer; The Autonomy Preference Index mean scores showed patient want informational autonomy (p<0.0007). There was a statistically significant difference between decisional autonomy and informational autonomy subscales (p< 0.0005). Brief RCOPE used religion for coping with uncertainty (p <0.0003). For Modified Medical Outcomes Social Support Survey: patient have emotional support however lack social support (p <000.5)
Conclusions Our data indicate this patient population utilizes religion to cope with their illness, experiences unmet instrumental social support needs, and favors receipt of medical information, while not necessarily seeking similar decisional autonomy. Our study sets the framework for further research into the faith-based contexts of understanding, social support need, and preferences for decision making in order to establish services capable of surmounting disparities in cancer care.


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