Thursday, May 30, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Objective: Patient Activation—a patient’s knowledge, skill, and confidence for self-management of health--is correlated with higher medical adherence and improved health outcomes. This study analyzes patient activation in Hispanic women diagnosed with breast cancer to understand existing sustainable and culturally appropriate behaviors that increase patient activation. In addition, we conceptualized patient activation in the context of Latino cultural values of familism and respeto. Our analysis identifies interactions that enable patient activation in Hispanic women. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Hispanic women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer or undergoing treatment. Conclusions: In general, Hispanic women expressed higher patient activation shortly after diagnosis with fluctuations depending on changes in their disease progression when accompanied with strong emotional reactions to their prognosis. Family support was crucial to maintain high patient activation when family members served as surrogate information seekers and contributed to medical decisions. While family support encouraged adherence to treatment, it also deterred women from expressing adverse treatment effects. Patient-provider interactions that reportedly facilitated high patient activation included physicians speaking the same language or having the same cultural background as the patient, encouraging questions, and having a calm demeanor. Implications: Interventions to maintain patient activation, especially in the absence of social support, could be useful for Hispanic women throughout the course of treatment.