Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 556–565 | Cite as

Racial Disparities in Emotional Distress Among Cancer Survivors: Insights from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)

  • Bettye A. Apenteng
  • Andrew R. HansenEmail author
  • Samuel T. Opoku
  • William A. Mase


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of race, cancer history, and their interaction on emotional distress among a nationally representative sample of US adults. Data utilized for this analysis were obtained from the first, second, and fourth iterations of the fourth cycle of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). The study sample included 3959, 3630, and 3677 respondents for the years 2011, 2012, and 2014, respectively, for a total sample size of 11,266. A multivariable ordered logistic regression model was used to assess the relationship between emotional distress, race, and cancer history. The effect of cancer history on emotional distress was found to be moderated by race. Specifically, emotional distress was significantly higher among African American cancer survivors. Factors found to be protective against emotional distress included healthy lifestyle, older age, and higher income. Factors associated with high levels of emotional distress included poor general health status, low self-efficacy, and being female. The authors recommend the design, advancement, and implementation of evidence-based culturally sensitive interventions aimed at effectively screening and managing psychological distress symptoms, particularly among African American long-term cancer survivor patient populations.


Emotional distress Cancer African American Survivor Disparities HINTS 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bettye A. Apenteng
    • 1
  • Andrew R. Hansen
    • 2
    Email author
  • Samuel T. Opoku
    • 1
  • William A. Mase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy and Management, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public HealthGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health Behavior and Education, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public HealthGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA

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