The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3168.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 9

Abstract #74570

Quality of life in Latinos with cancer: The role of fatalism and optimism

Farah A. Arosemena, BA, MPH (c)1, Martin A. Perez, PhD2, Shirley Otis-Green, LCSW2, and Paula J. Ross, MA, PhD (c)3. (1) School of Social Work, University of Southern California and Partners In Care Foundation, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Burbank, CA 90840, 562-439-4983,, (2) Supportive Care, City of Hope Cancer Center, 1500 E. Duarte Rd., NW Bldg. Rm. 1218, Duarte, CA 91010, (3) Supportive Care/PS Pediatrics, City of Hope Cancer Center, 1500 E. Duarte Rd., Duarte, CA 91010

OBJECTIVES: Explore relationships between cancer-specific fatalism, locus-of-control (LoC), depression, optimism, acculturation, and SES; and identify which of these variables play important roles in overall health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL).

METHODS: Pilot data from a mailed survey that included standardized measures of fatalism, LoC, depression, optimism, acculturation, and HRQoL were analyzed for Latino solid-tumor cancer patients (N=80) registered in the Tumor Registry.

RESULTS: Patients were predominantly female (61%) and Mexican (71%) with a mean time since diagnosis of 3.16 years. Most patients were diagnosed with breast (33.8%), prostate (18.9%), and colorectal (10.8%) cancers. Fatalism was only related to internal LoC (r=-.26, p=.02). Optimism was associated with better HRQoL (r=.42, p=.000), more Anglo-orientation (r=.27, p=.02) and higher SES (r=.46, p=.000). Regression analysis controlling for acculturation, SES, and time since diagnosis showed that low levels of fatalism, internal LoC, depression, and optimism predicted HRQoL (R2=.29, p=.000). However, only depression accounted for unique variance. Depression was associated with lower SES (r=-.375, p=.001), greater Latino-orientation (r=.23, p<.05), and lower HRQoL (r=-.69, p=.000), whereas increased internal LoC correlated with higher HRQoL (r=.26, p=.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite common beliefs that fatalism is culturally related, it does not appear to play a significant role in patient outcomes and appears to be independent of optimism. Similar to well-established studies on majority samples, depression remains a significant determinant on HRQoL. Future research should identify important domains of HRQoL so that healthcare control and treatment interventions can reflect cultural competency, appropriately address the burdens of cancer, and influence healthcare policies.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Latino Health, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Study conducted at the City of Hope Cancer Center as part of the Summer Student Internship Program.
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Committee on Affiliates Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA