Evaluating a Culturally Tailored Peer-Mentoring and Education Pilot Intervention Among Chinese Breast Cancer Survivors Using a Mixed-Methods Approach

Qian Lu

Jin You

Jenny Man

Alice Loh

Lucy Young

psychosocial intervention, social support, peer mentorship, culturally tailored, Chinese American, breast cancer survivors
ONF 2014, 41(6), 629-637. DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.629-637

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate a social support intervention that was culturally tailored for Chinese Americans who face many challenges because of cultural and linguistic barriers.

Design: Intervention with a one-group pre- or post-test design, mixed methods, and a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach.

Setting: Southern California.

Sample: 14 Chinese American breast cancer survivors post-treatment and eight breast cancer peer mentors.

Methods: The intervention was a 10-week program to provide emotional and informational support through peer mentoring and education. Health outcomes were assessed before and after the intervention. Eight weekly process evaluations and two focus group interviews also were conducted.

Main Research Variables: Depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Findings: The program was associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms. Participants valued the program highly. Inductive analysis suggested possible mechanisms for effectiveness, such as reducing stigma, empowerment, and increased sense of belonging.

Conclusions: The peer-mentoring and education program has the potential to serve as a model intervention for ethnic minorities. Mixed methods and CBPR are valuable in evaluating pilot interventions with minorities. Focusing on relationships may be fruitful for designing novel interventions for cancer survivors from collectivistic cultures.

Implications for Nursing: Peer-mentoring and education programs can be integrated into communities and clinics to improve care for underserved minority cancer survivors and to reduce health disparities.

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