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Self-Efficacy for Coping with Breast Cancer Treatment Among Spanish-Speaking Latinas


Background: Cancer-related self-efficacy, a multidimensional construct, is the confidence that one can overcome challenges associated with cancer and its treatment; higher levels have been associated with better psychosocial outcomes of breast cancer survivors. Little is known about factors that influence it among Latina breast cancer survivors. Purpose: Assess associations of several aspects of health care processes and of spirituality with self-efficacy for coping with breast cancer treatment among primarily Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors. Methods: We analyzed baseline data from a randomized controlled trial of a cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention that enrolled 151 Spanish-speaking Latinas within 1 year of breast cancer diagnosis. Multivariate linear regression models examined associations of health care processes (quality of breast cancer care and information, participating in medical care, difficulty engaging with doctors) and spirituality (meaning/peace, faith, acceptance) with self-efficacy for coping with breast cancer treatment. Results: Mean age was 51 (standard deviation [SD]=11), 66% completed high school or less, and most reported financial hardship in the past year (78%). Average time since diagnosis was 3.8 months (SD=2.7). In bivariate analyses, all six determinants were significantly associated with self-efficacy for coping with breast cancer treatment; participating in medical care (B=0.56, p<0.001) and having a sense of meaning/peace (B=0.76; p<0.001) were independently associated, controlling for sociodemographic and treatment characteristics. Discussion: Interventions that promote participation in treatment decisions and sense of meaning and peace could improve confidence in coping with breast cancer treatment, and potentially quality of life, among Latinas living with breast cancer (Trial Registration Number: NCT01383174 []).

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