Get access

Un Abrazo Para La Familia: Providing low-income Hispanics with education and skills in coping with breast cancer and caregiving


Correspondence to: Institute for Children, Youth and Families, Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. E-mail:



Un Abrazo Para La Familia (A Hug for the Family) is an intervention designed to increase the accessibility of cancer information to low-income and medically underserved co-survivors of cancer. Co-survivors are family members or friends of an individual diagnosed with cancer. Our goal was to increase socio-emotional support for these co-survivors and improve skills in coping with cancer. The purpose of our pilot study was to explore the effectiveness of the intervention in increasing cancer knowledge and self-efficacy among co-survivors.


Un Abrazo consisted of three one-hour sessions, in either Spanish or English. Sessions were delivered by a trained promotora (community health worker), in partnership with a counselor. Sixty participants completed measures of cancer knowledge and self-efficacy preceding (pre-test) and following the intervention (post-test).


From pre-test to post-test, the percentage of questions answered correctly about cancer knowledge increased (p < 0.001), as did ratings of self-efficacy (p < 0.001). Decreases were seen in ‘Do not know’ responses for cancer knowledge (p < 0.01), with a negative correlation between number of ‘Do not knows’ on cancer knowledge at pre-test and ratings of self-efficacy at pre-test (r = −0.47, p < 0.01).


When provided an accessible format, co-survivors of cancer from underserved populations increase their cancer knowledge and self-efficacy. This is notable because research indicates that family members and friends with increased cancer knowledge assume more active involvement in the cancer care of their loved ones. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Get access to the full text of this article