Social and economically influenced factors associated with breast cancer treatment among blacks and whites. A qualitative study
Background: Despite the fact breast cancer mortality has declined in recent years, the mortality gap between African-American and white women continues to grow. A part of these disparities may be due to either inadequately following guideline recommended treatment or treatment delays. Although racial/ethnic disparities in breast cancer treatment and mortality have been extensively documented, the mechanisms by which these disparities occur remain largely unknown. Social and economically influenced factors such as choice of providers, distance of treatment facility, transportation, health insurance, and job related factors may also contribute to racial differences in breast cancer treatment; however, these have not been explored sufficiently in previous research. Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of social and economically influenced factors that may contribute to racial disparities in the receipt of guideline recommended treatment using the Health Disparities Model. Methods: In this qualitative comparative case study, data from medical records, structured telephone interviews, and in-depth patient interviews explored the relationship between social and economically influenced factors and breast cancer treatment. Transcripts were analyzed using standard iterative process followed by immersion/crystallization approach. Participants were identified through rapid ascertainment from the New Jersey Cancer Registry and this study included 8 African-American and 8 white women aged 20-85 years old diagnosed with early stage breast cancer between 2003-2007, matched on age, race, and physician recommended treatment. Results: We did not identify differences by race in factors that influenced the receipt of breast cancer treatment among the individual matched pairs. Four prominent themes emerged among women from both groups who experienced similar difficulties influenced by socioeconomic factors. Choice of providers, distance of facility, health insurance, and job related factors all contributed to breast cancer treatment experience among these women. Conclusions: We identified common issues influenced by socioeconomic factors and its relation with the receipt of breast cancer treatment, regardless of race. However, more research is needed to study the additional factors conveying racial differences affecting breast cancer treatment.
Black studies|Public health|Ethnic studies|Oncology
Vora, Ankita K, "Social and economically influenced factors associated with breast cancer treatment among blacks and whites. A qualitative study" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1530230.