Tailoring cancer education and support programs for low-income, Primarily African American Cancer Survivors

Michelle Y. Martin, Lori A. Pollack, Mary B. Evans, Judith Lee Smith, Polly Kratt, Heather Prayor-Patterson, Christopher D. Watson, Mark Dignan, Lydia C. Cheney, Maria Pisu, Amandiy Liwo, Sandral Hullett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose/Objectives: To identify the information and stress-management topics of most interest to low-income, predominantly African American cancer survivors. Research Approach: Descriptive, cross sectional. Setting: Outpatient oncology clinic in a public hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Participants: 25 patients with cancer; 12 were men, 22 were African Americans, and 16 had a 12th-grade education or less. Methodologic Approach: Patients ranked potential topics to be included in an educational curriculum. Main Research Variables: Quantitative rankings of information and stress-management priorities. Findings: Learning about cancer, understanding cancer treatments, relieving cancer pain, and keeping well in mind and body were the most highly ranked topics among those offered within the American Cancer Society's I Can Cope curriculum, which also included supportive topics such as mobilizing social support. The preferred stress-management topics were humor therapy, music therapy, meditation, and relaxation; lower-ranked topics included pet therapy and art as therapy. Conclusions: Cancer survivors appear most interested in topics specific to their illness and treatment versus supportive topics. Stress management also received high rankings. Interpretation: Nurses have a key role in providing patient education and support. Tailoring education programs may better target specific needs and improve the quality of cancer care of underserved patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E55-E59
JournalOncology Nursing Forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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