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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Needs and experiences of Samoan breast cancer survivors in Southern California.

  • Author(s): Tanjasiri, Sora Park
  • Mata'alii, Sala
  • Hanneman, Marion
  • Sabado, Melanie D
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Breast cancer rates are increasing among Samoan and other Pacific Islander women, yet studies of their social support needs are nearly non-existent. The purpose of this paper is to report on the cultural dimensions of social support among Samoan breast cancer survivors in Southern California.Data for this paper came from a larger one-and-a-half year study of the social support needs of Samoan breast cancer survivors and their family and friends. In-depth, retrospective, qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of 20 Samoan survivors who were recruited from an existing social support program as well as the general community.We documented important informational needs and behaviors, social support needs and experiences, and spirituality issues for the Samoan breast cancer survivors.Our findings underscore the need for culturally-specific social support services for Samoans, as well as the necessity of community-based participatory research to define and explore social support and other survivorship needs in this understudied population. Recommendations from the community report-back, stressed the importance of expanding community Samoan cancer social support groups through collaborations with Samoan leaders and churches.

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