Spirituality in African-American Breast Cancer Patients: Implications for Clinical and Psychosocial Care
Spirituality has been shown to be important to many individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis. While African-American breast cancer survivors have been reported to have higher levels of spirituality compared to White women, little is known about how levels of spirituality may vary among African-American breast cancer survivors. The aims of this study were to examine factors associated with spirituality among African-American survivors and test whether spirituality levels were associated with women’s attitudes about treatment or health care. The primary outcome, spirituality, was nine-item scale (Cronbach’s α = .99). Participants completed standardized telephone interviews that captured sociocultural, healthcare process, and treatment attitudes. Medical records were abstracted post-adjuvant therapy for treatment and clinical information. In bivariate analysis, age was not correlated with spirituality (p = .40). Married/living as married women had higher levels of spirituality (m = 32.1) than single women (m = 30.1). Contextual factors that were associated with higher levels spirituality were: collectivism (r = .44; p < 0.0001, Afrocentric worldview (r = .185; p = .01), and self-efficacy scale (r = .17; p = .02). In multivariable analysis, sociodemographic factors were not significant. Collectivism remained a robust predictor (p < 0.0001). Attitudes about the efficacy of cancer treatment were not associated with spirituality. The high levels of spirituality in African-American survivors suggest consideration of integrating spiritual care within the delivery of cancer treatment. Future studies should consider how spirituality may contribute to positive coping and/or behaviors in African-American women with high levels of spirituality.
KeywordsSpirituality African-American Breast cancer Psychosocial care Religiosity
This study was funded by ACS MRSGT 0613201 CPPB; R01-CA154848; and NIH-NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA016059.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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