Racial and Ethnic Variation in Partner Perspectives About the Breast Cancer Treatment Decision-Making Experience

Sarah E. Lillie

Nancy K. Janz

Christopher R. Friese

John J. Graff

Kendra Schwartz

Ann S. Hamilton

Brittany Bartol Gay

Steven J. Katz

Sarah T. Hawley

decision making, family and caregivers, breast cancer
ONF 2013, 41(1), 13-20. DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.13-20

Purpose/Objectives: To characterize the perspectives of partners (husbands or significant others) of patients with breast cancer in the treatment decision-making process and to evaluate racial and ethnic differences in decision outcomes.

Design: A cross-sectional survey.

Setting: Los Angeles, CA, and Detroit, MI.

Sample: 517 partners of a population-based sample of patients with breast cancer four years post-treatment.

Methods: A self-administered mailed questionnaire. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to assess associations between race and ethnicity and decision outcomes.

Main Research Variables: Decision regret and three elements of the decision process: information received, actual involvement, and desired involvement.

Findings: Most partners reported receiving sufficient information (77%), being involved in treatment decisions (74%), and having sufficient involvement (73%). Less-acculturated Hispanic partners were more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to report high decision regret (45% versus 14%, p < 0.001). Factors significantly associated (p < 0.05) with high decision regret were insufficient receipt of treatment information, low involvement in decision making, and a desire for more involvement.

Conclusions: Partners were generally positive regarding their perspectives about participating in the breast cancer treatment decision-making process. However, less acculturated Hispanic partners were most vulnerable to decision regret. In addition, high decision regret was associated with modifiable elements of the decision-making process.

Implications for Nursing: Attention should be paid to ensuring racial and ethnic minority partners are sufficiently involved in breast cancer treatment decisions and receive decision support.

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