159363 Race-Related Stress and Coping Among Older African American Men Diagnosed with Cancer

Monday, November 5, 2007: 2:30 PM

Nicole A. Thompson, MPH , Adult & Elder Health Nursing Department, Emory University, Lilburn, GA
African Americans have the highest death and shortest survival rates of any other US racial or ethnic group for most cancers (ACS 2007). Being older increases the cancer burden experienced. This study explores how older African American men cope with cancer and how experienced racism correlates with their coping strategies. Participants were recruited from outpatient oncology clinics in the southeastern United States. The sample, to date, includes older African American men (n=56, mean age= 65.11), diagnosed with prostate (26.8%), colorectal (8.9%), lung (4.3%), and head and neck (25%) cancers. Most participants are unemployed due to retirement (39.3%) or poor health (37.5%), have less than a high school education (53.6%), and have an annual income less than $20,000 (57.4%). The Index of Race-Related Stress (IRRS-B), a measure assessing the stress of daily encounters with racism, and the Ways of Coping (WOC), a measure identifying the dimensions of coping with cancer, were administered to participants during face-to-face interviews. Preliminary findings show that participants primarily encounter cultural racism and use distancing coping strategies. Experienced cultural racism (r=.38, p<.05) and institutional racism (r=.34, p<.05) correlated significantly with distancing coping strategies. Significant correlations were also found between experienced individual racism and focus on the positive coping strategies (r=.29, p<.05) and seeking social support coping strategies (r=.27, p<.05). This study will contribute to research focused on socio-cultural factors that influence coping strategies and will provide data to develop policies and programs to support older African American men as they cope with cancer.

Learning Objectives:
1. To evaluate the coping strategies used by older African American men diagnosed with cancer. 2. To analyze the associations between experienced racism and coping strategies of older African American men diagnosed with cancer.

Keywords: African American, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.