Creating community: Expanding access to psychosocial programs for Latina breast cancer survivors

Lydia P. Buki, Jessica R. Schwartz, Elizabeth E.W. McInerney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Breast cancer survivors often derive benefits from psychosocial interventions, but less is known about Latina women's experiences. Given the disproportionately high disease burden faced by Latina survivors, it is critical to examine ways to enhance access for this population. Thus, the present study aimed to (a) examine women's perceptions of factors associated with effective delivery of a psychosocial program designed for Spanish speaking women with limited access to care, and (b) identify the mechanisms by which the program enhanced women's psychological well-being. Methods: In a qualitative study, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 immigrant Latina breast cancer survivors who previously received psychosocial services at a community-based organization. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data. Results: Through open, axial, and selective coding, we arrived at the core category achieving a sense of community. The psychosocial program promoted access and enhanced women's psychological well-being by creating a sense of community among participants. This was facilitated by three primary aspects of service provision: access factors, a holistic approach to health, and therapeutic factors imparted through a biweekly support group. Conclusions: Psychosocial services promoted a sense of community among Latina breast cancer survivors while reflecting their cultural values and unique psychosocial needs. Findings may guide the development of interventions to increase access to care, enhance health outcomes, and create and maintain a sense of community among medically underserved populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Hispanics
  • Latinas
  • breast neoplasms
  • cancer
  • psychooncology
  • survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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