Exploring racial disparities in social support needs among breast cancer patients

In a Psycho-Oncology study of 28 women who were being treated for breast cancer and were participating in focus groups, White participants noted that having other breast cancer survivors in their support network was essential for meeting their social support needs. Black participants did not reference other breast cancer survivors as part of their networks, however.

Notably, both White and Black participants used the focus group environment to provide social support to each other.

The findings point to the importance of knowing and understanding the nuances of patients' support needs. Interventions should address these needs by facilitating connections among survivors, offering more avenues to receive support from clinicians, and encouraging women to invite family and friends to be active contributors in their care.

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