Filipina Breast Cancer Support: What Model is Meaningful? [1]

Investigator: Nancy Burke, PhD
Sponsor: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Location(s): United States


Filipina American women suffer a disproportionate burden of cancer than women of other Asian subgroups. The Filipino population in the US is large, second among Asians only to the Chinese. Breast cancer among Filipina American women is a major cancer disparity. Despite this, resources for and research with Filipinas with breast cancer are almost non-existent. In 2004, West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center (West Bay) joined with the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center and the San Francisco General Breast Care Program to start the first Filipina breast cancer support group (Sinag Tala) in San Francisco. However, it has been difficult to keep women coming to the group. The little research available on Filipino Americans suggests that support services need to be tailored to the social and cultural values, beliefs and norms of the community. Our study seeks to illuminate meanings of survivorship and breast cancer support in this community, and how to design culturally appropriate support services building upon existing community resources (social networks). Methods: In this study we will identify existing support resources within the Filipino community and incorporate these into a culturally resonant support model. We will participate in the current Sinag Tala breast cancer support group meetings and interview the people who know the most about breast cancer survivorship support resources and needs in the Filipino community: women and their families who take part in the support group, women and their families who stopped attending the group, and breast cancer survivors who have never gone to the support group. After review of findings from interviews and observations of the support group, we will develop a culturally appropriate support model in close collaboration with the Sinag Tala Advisory Council. This model will then be evaluated in small group interviews with breast cancer survivors and their families. Interviews and analyses of the information that results will be conducted in accordance with qualitative research methods. UCSF researchers will train staff of West Bay to conduct interviews and analyses will be conducted jointly. This systematic identification of key issues related to our research questions is called ?formative research? and precedes an intervention trial. Potential Outcomes and Benefits: We believe the development and delivery of culturally appropriate and resonant support services is likely to improve the quality of life of Filipina breast cancer survivors. In addition, through this research, we seek to increase the capacity of West Bay, an organization based in and trusted by the Filipino community since they are best positioned to reduce the breast cancer burden in their community.