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Navigating Latinas through Breast Cancer Treatment Decisions
Principal Investigator
Vanessa Sheppard, PhD

Funded April 2004 through the Special Populations Network developmental research projects, this project aims to:

  1. Describe the role of cultural beliefs, acculturation, and health literacy on patient's preferences for SDM.
  2. Develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of a patient targeted skills intervention.
  3. Explore the role of the culturally tailored patient skills intervention in improving decisional and quality of life outcomes (i.e., SDM, satisfaction, decision conflict, and short-term quality of life).

Cancer navigators have proven effective to improve access to cancer screening and follow-up in minority populations. We propose to extend this paradigm to cancer treatment for newly diagnosed Latina breast cancer patients. Our multi-disciplinary team represents a coalition of researchers from our Latin-American Special Population Network, the community-based Nueva Vida Comprehensive Cancer Support Network, and the NCI Cancer Information Service. We use the Ottawa Decision Support Framework (DSF) to develop, implement, and evaluate the use of community peer treatment navigators. These navigators will provide culturally and linguistically appropriate decisional and communication support and skills training for newly diagnosed patients. In phase I, we will conduct 4 focus groups with Latina cancer survivors, and key informant interviews with 5 cancer peer navigators and 3 physicians to explore domains that are relevant to enhancing SDM and communication about treatment. In phase II, we will finalize the navigator manual, recruit 20 newly diagnosed Latinas from community practices in DC, conduct baseline surveys, have a peer navigator deliver the face-to-face skills intervention, and conduct a 4-5 month follow-up survey.

If the intervention is feasible and acceptable, we will conduct a randomized trial to test effectiveness in other settings in future research. Our results will be portable to other interventions to improve access to treatment.

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