Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 744–751 | Cite as

Lessons Learned in Developing a Culturally Adapted Intervention for African-American Families Coping with Parental Cancer

  • Maureen P. Davey
  • Karni Kissil
  • Laura Lynch
  • La-Rhonda Harmon
  • Nancy Hodgson


Prior clinical research supports the effectiveness of cancer support groups for cancer patients and their families, yet African-American families continue to be underrepresented in cancer support groups and in cancer clinical research studies. In order to fill this gap, we developed and evaluated a culturally adapted family support group for African-American families coping with parental cancer. We encountered unexpected challenges in overcoming barriers to recruitment, partnering with oncology providers, and building trust with the African-American community and African-American families coping with parental cancer. We describe actions taken during the two phases of this study and lessons learned along the way about recruiting and engaging African-American families in cancer support group studies, partnering with oncology providers, networking with the African-American community, and the importance of demonstrating cultural sensitivity to overcome the understandable historical legacy of mistrust.


African-American families Family intervention Parental cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen P. Davey
    • 1
  • Karni Kissil
    • 1
  • Laura Lynch
    • 1
  • La-Rhonda Harmon
    • 2
  • Nancy Hodgson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Couple and Family TherapyDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Multisystemic Therapy ServicesPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.School of NursingJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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