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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3107.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Table 3

Abstract #111775

A Culturally Sensitive Patient Empowerment Model for Reducing Cancer Health Disparities

Carolyn M. Tucker, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, P.O. BOX 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-392-0601, ext 260, cmtucker@ufl.edu

It is well documented that (a) race, culture, and poverty are inextricably linked to cancer health disparities, and (b) regardless of economic status, African American patients are less likely than Whites to receive the most effective treatment for cancer (IOM, 2003). National health care organizations are calling for culturally sensitive/competent health care to help reverse this trend. It is culturally diverse patients rather than health professionals who are the “experts” on this care (Tucker, 2003).

Thus, focus groups were conducted with low-income African American, Hispanic, and White patients with various chronic health problems to identify specific provider and office staff behaviors and health care environment characteristics that constitute culturally sensitive health care (i.e., care hat make patients feel comfortable with, trusting of, and respected by their providers). This data was used to develop the Culturally Sensitive Patient Empowerment Model (the CSPE Model) which asserts that culturally sensitive health care, as defined by patients, influences patients' perceived levels of cultural sensitivity and interpersonal control, both of which impact patients' levels of satisfaction with health care received, which in turn impacts treatment adherence, and ultimately, health/treatment outcomes and health disparities (Tucker, Herman, et al., 2004). The CSPE Model was then tested with patients similar to the focus group patients. Findings support the Model. For example, patients' perceived cultural sensitivity was significantly associated with patient satisfaction and health outcomes (e.g., cholesterol levels).

The major implications of the CSPE Model and the findings regarding it are that: (a) training providers to engage in behaviors and create health care settings that patients with cancer consider culturally sensitive will likely result in better health outcomes for these patients, and (b) this provider training needs to include a focus on ways to empower and meet the emotional needs (e.g., comfort and trust needs) of patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Cancer, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA