Psychosocial interventions addressing the needs of Black women diagnosed with breast cancer: a review of the current landscape

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Background:Poorer health outcomes and lower survival rates have been well documented among African American/Black (Black) women diagnosed with breast cancer. Black women are 41% more likely to die from breast cancer than White women despite a lower incidence rate. Apart from pharmacotherapy, psychosocial interventions are recommended by the Institute of Medicine as standard medical care for breast cancer patients at all phases of treatment. The current review is the first attempt to systematically evaluate the literature on the influence of psychosocial interventions for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer.Methods:This systematic review aimed to adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. A comprehensive computerized literature search of CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Web of Science was conducted to obtain relevant studies.Results:Interventions demonstrated improved mood, decreased distress, increased ability to cope with intrusive thoughts and cancer-related stress, personal growth, and improved social well-being. However, aspects unique to this population require additional scientific inquiry. Over 80% of empirical interventions focused on Black women diagnosed with breast cancer have been concentrated on the posttreatment phase. There is a paucity of work at the time of diagnosis and during treatment.Conclusions:To address gaps in the scientific literature, more work is needed to better understand how psychosocial interventions can improve the health trajectory for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer particularly in the areas of seeking help and support, identifying culturally acceptable methods for engaging support networks, and identifying best practices for enhancing coping skills. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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