Support needs of Chinese immigrant cancer patients
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- Leng, J., Lee, T., Li, Y. et al. Support Care Cancer (2014) 22: 33. doi:10.1007/s00520-013-1950-0
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To enable better psychosocial, informational, and practical support of Chinese patients with cancer, this study was conducted to identify the specific support needs of Chinese immigrant cancer patients.
The Cancer Portal Project at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Center for Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities is a patient navigation program that assists underserved and minority cancer patients in obtaining social and economic assistance at ten New York City cancer clinics. This need assessment was conducted as part of the Portal Project. Sixty-four questions were added to the existing Portal Intake Form about the needs and preferences for Chinese-language support and survivorship services. Descriptive analysis was performed, as well as an exploratory principal component’s factor analysis to determine if there were any patterns in the services and programs in which patients were interested.
Ninety-six patients were approached for participation; 59 agreed to participate. Eighty-eight percent of participants were born in China. Ninety-seven percent preferred to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, or Fujianese in the healthcare setting. When asked about general interest in support programs, 53 % of the participants were "very interested," 27 % were "maybe interested," and 17 % were "not interested." Programs in which more participants were "very interested" included those that would provide information about obtaining financial assistance (79 %) and social assistance (74 %), information on treatment options (67 %), help in coping with the burden of illness on the family (65 %), and information about general healthcare (63 %). The factor analysis resulted in the identification of five factors: social/financial/treatment and care issues, nutrition and exercise/networking/general health care, coping with fear and stress, herbs and dietary supplements, and acupuncture and acupressure.
In this study, 80 % of the participants expressed interest in programs tailored for Chinese cancer patients. The most frequently preferred topics for potential services were information-based. Findings provide a foundation for future research and the development of culturally and linguistically targeted support programs and interventions for this unique population.