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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern Examines Racial Disparities in Emotional Distress among Cancer Survivors

A cancer diagnosis can have a significant physical and emotional toll on patients as well as their caregivers. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of race, cancer history, and their interaction on emotional distress among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Data utilized for this analysis were obtained from the first, second, and fourth iterations of the fourth cycle of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). The study sample included 3959, 3630, and 3677 respondents for the years 2011, 2012, and 2014, respectively, for a total sample size of 11,266. A multivariable ordered logistic regression model was used to assess the relationship between emotional distress, race, and cancer history.

The effect of cancer history on emotional distress was found to be moderated by race. Specifically, emotional distress was significantly higher among African American cancer survivors. Factors found to be protective against emotional distress included healthy lifestyle, older age, and higher income. Factors associated with high levels of emotional distress included poor general health status, low self-efficacy, and being female.

The authors recommend the design, advancement, and implementation of evidence-based culturally sensitive interventions aimed at effectively screening and managing psychological distress symptoms, particularly among African American long-term cancer survivor patient populations

Racial Disparities in Emotional Distress Among Cancer Survivors: Insights from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS),” was published in the Journal of Cancer Education.

Dr. Bettye Apenteng, assistant professor at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) at Georgia Southern University, was the lead author. Dr. Andrew Hansen, Dr. Samuel Opoku, and Dr. Bill Mase, assistant professors at JPHCOPH were co-authors.