Psychosocial needs assessment among an underserved, ethnically diverse cancer patient population

Authors

  • Alyson B. Moadel PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
    • Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
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    • Fax: (718) 430-3052

  • Carole Morgan PhD,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
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    • Deceased.

  • Janice Dutcher MD

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Medical College, Bronx, New York
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  • Presented at Exploring Models to Eliminate Cancer Disparities Among African American and Latino Populations: Research and Community Solutions, Atlanta, GA, April 21–22, 2005.

  • This article is dedicated to the late Carole Morgan, PhD, whose contribution to understanding the needs of the underserved is immeasurable. In addition, we thank Arlene Caban, Jeanne Carter, Anne Fatone, Gia LaRuffa, Anne Skamai, and Jennifer Usher for data collection and Melanie Harris, Ruth Santizo, and Rita Guimaraes for their invaluable editorial assistance.

Abstract

Little attention has been directed towards identifying and addressing the psychosocial needs of ethnic minority and underserved cancer patients. This study describes the development of a psychosocial needs survey and patterns and predictors of need among an ethnically diverse underserved cancer patient population in Bronx, New York. A 34-item psychosocial needs assessment survey was developed to assess 4 categories of need: Informational, Practical, Supportive, and Spiritual. A total of 248 oncology outpatients (48% non-Hispanic whites, 25% African Americans; 19% Hispanic) completed the survey in oncology clinic waiting rooms. The survey demonstrated high internal consistency and face validity. Ethnicity was the sole predictor of needs (P < .02), even after controlling for education, time since diagnosis, treatment status, marital status, and age. The mean percentage of needs endorsed by African Americans, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites respectively was 81%, 85%, 70% for Informational; 63%, 68%, 36% for Practical; 69%, 73%, 48% for Supportive; and 49%, 60%, 31% for Spiritual needs. This needs assessment offers clear directions in which to focus QOL intervention efforts among underserved and ethnic minority cancer patients. Cancer 2007. © 2006 American Cancer Society.

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