Increasing Acupuncture Utilization As An Adjunct Treatment in African American Breast Cancer Survivors
Background: Black women experience higher rates of triple negative cancer, which is one of the most aggressive breast cancers where treatment adherence presents heightened priority. Side effects such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and hot flashes accompany corresponding treatments. Acupuncture has been shown as an effective treatment for such symptoms. However, African American women are among the least likely to engage in any use of acupuncture .
Methods: Thirty-six Black women diagnosed with breast cancer completed a survey to identify barriers and facilitators to their use of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment to mitigate side effects. We analyzed participant responses using logistic regression to determine use patterns while a two-step process for open ended questions identified themes and then created a matrix to facilitate comparison of the responses by themes across respondents.
Results: Logistic regression analysis indicates that Black women with hot flashes were the most likely to utilize acupuncture. Qualitative themes identified mostly pragmatic concerns: cost of treatments, distance and transportation to clinics, as well as fear of needles and pain during treatment as potential barriers. Potential facilitators included testimonials from Black women who had used acupuncture as an adjuvant treatment and meeting such women and acupuncturists in person, as was the potential to reduce or eliminate pharmaceuticals.
Conclusions: We identified barriers and facilitators that provide actionable strategies for improving utilization of acupuncture by Black breast cancer survivors who could benefit from it.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Identify patterns of acupuncture use among Black women breast cancer survivors. Assess willingness among Black women breast cancer survivors to use acupuncture.
Keyword(s): Cancer, Alternative and Complementary Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on the study throughout the different phases and I work under the supervision of Professors Mays and Cochran.
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.