Patients' Cultural Beliefs in Patient-Provider Communication With African American Women and Latinas Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Susan Mott-Coles

minorities, health disparities, African American, Latina, breast cancer, culture, cultural competence, culturally sensitive communications, breast cancer treatment
CJON 2014, 18(4), 443-448. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.443-448

African American women and Latinas often experience suboptimal breast cancer care. This article describes providers' self-rated skills in communication practices when working with African American women and Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer. Current literature reveals how providers are lacking in the ability to communicate with these patients and often fail to incorporate cultural beliefs into breast cancer care and treatment. This poor communication and failure to acknowledge cultural beliefs can be correlated with poor patient outcomes. In a study of providers' perceptions of how they address the cultural beliefs of African American women and Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer, interviews with physicians, inpatient nurses, cancer clinic nurses, mammography technicians, and ultrasound technicians showed that they used the same approach for all patients, regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture but felt they practiced culturally sensitive care. Increased and improved cultural competence education is recommended for providers at all levels as a first step toward increasing culturally competent communications.

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