Worry about recurrence in a multi-ethnic population of breast cancer survivors and their partners
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The objectives of this study are to describe racial/ethnic differences and clinical/treatment correlates of worry about recurrence and examine modifiable factors in the health care experience to reduce worry among breast cancer survivors, partners, and pairs.
Women with non-metastatic breast cancer identified by the Detroit and Los Angeles SEER registries between 6/05 and 2/07 were surveyed at 9 months and 4 years. Latina and Black women were oversampled. Partners were surveyed at time 2. Worry about recurrence was regressed on sociodemographics, clinical/treatment, and modifiable factors (e.g., emotional support received by providers) among survivors, partners, and pairs.
The final sample included 510 pairs. Partners reported more worry about recurrence than survivors. Compared to Whites, Latinas(os) were more likely to report worry and Blacks were less likely to report worry (all p < 0.05). Partners of survivors who received chemotherapy reported more worry (OR = 2.47 [1.45, 4.22]). Among modifiable factors, survivors and pairs who received more emotional support from providers were less likely to report worry than those survivors and pairs who did not receive such support (OR = 0.56 [0.32, 0.97]) and (OR = 0.45 [0.23,0.85]), respectively.
Early identification of survivors and partners who are reporting considerable worry about recurrence can lead to targeted culturally sensitive interventions to avoid poorer outcomes. Interventions focused on health care providers offering information on risk and emotional support to survivors and partners is warranted.