175073 Latinos communicating about cancer: A profile of Spanish-speaking callers to the NCI's Cancer Information Service

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Julie Kornfeld, MPH , Cancer Information Service - Coastal Region, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Coral Gables, FL
Robin C. Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES , Cancer Information Service - Mid South Region, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Control Program, Lexington, KY
It is well established that Latino communities experience health-related disparities. Less understood is how health communication behaviors, including information seeking, impact Latinos' health. The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Cancer Information Service (CIS) responds to 4,000 Spanish-language inquiries each year. In analyzing call data, we are able to present a profile of Latinos and their cancer concerns and information needs.

This presentation will discuss the results of a secondary data analysis of 2006/2007 CIS data with an emphasis on understanding the concerns of Latino callers and the relationship of selected sociodemographic variables. Descriptive statistics include gender, age, education, income, and health insurance status as well as type of caller (e.g., patient, general public), subject of inquiry and cancer site of interest. In addition, the quantitative data is supplemented with qualitative data collected through focus groups with bilingual cancer Information Specialists (IS).

Preliminary analysis reveals Latino callers are younger, have lower education and health literacy levels, require education on the basics of anatomy and cancer, need economic assistance and community services, and require time from IS to build rapport and trust before more complex information can be shared.

Quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing cancer inquiries from Spanish-speaking Latinos in the US provides an opportunity to examine the unique communication needs of this population–especially when language is considered a barrier to communication about health. Improved understanding of information-seeking behaviors can improve public health professionals‘ ability to provide culturally-relevant cancer information to lessen the gaps in knowledge and cancer disparities among US Latinos.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify the cancer-related concerns and information needs of Spanish-speaking callers to the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service. 2)Understand Latinos concerns about cancer and the interactions between sociodemographic factors and information-seeking behaviors among this population.

Keywords: Cancer, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the Program Director of NCI's Cancer Information Service Spanish Call Center in Miami, FL and have over 17 years experience in examining the information needs of Latino populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.