An Assessment of Needs Among African American and White Cancer Survivors in Louisiana

Khorsandi, D. Williams

The literature is limited on African American (AA) specific cancer survivorship needs and preventative health practices but identifies racial disparities in cancer outcomes.  It is necessary to identify these needs and design culturally sensitive interventions to support them.  One popular method of intervention is the use of mobile and virtual resources to support survivors through their cancer journey.  Materials and Methods 162 Louisiana cancer survivors served by a regional cancer association completed a survey assessing preventative health behaviors, unmet needs, common problems faced, and interest in a mobile health app.  Descriptive statistics were conducted on all survey respondents, AA respondents, and white respondents.  Pearson’s chi-square tests identified differences between the two racial groups.  Results In all respondents, the majority were AA, female, and between the ages of 50-64.  White cancer survivors were more likely to have exercised over the prior month, while AA respondents reported higher levels of unmet needs in the domains of health systems and information, physical and daily living, patient care and support, and sexuality.  AA respondents were significantly more interested in using a downloaded application to improve physical health.  Conclusions In resource-poor settings, such as Louisiana, all cancer survivors face many unmet needs, while AA cancer survivors face greater needs than their white counterparts.  To begin addressing these disparities, downloadable mobile applications can be employed to support and improve physical health.

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