Not a Death Sentence: Perspectives of African American Women Living With Lung Cancer

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

To conduct a descriptive, qualitative study to describe the experience of female African American lung cancer survivors, their perception of living with lung cancer, and their desire and ability to adopt positive health-related behaviors.

PARTICIPANTS & SETTING:

The sample consisted of 18 African American women with a history of stages I-IIIa lung cancer. Three focus groups were conducted in a private conference center in two community hospitals in the southeastern United States.

METHODOLOGIC APPROACH:

A 20-item questionnaire was used to collect demographic, health status, and behavior information. A trained moderator led the audio-recorded focus group discussions using a semistructured interview guide.

FINDINGS:

Thematic analysis of the professionally transcribed data resulted in identification of four major themes. In addition, participants experienced stigma that influenced their perspectives on living with lung cancer.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Healthcare professionals should provide culturally tailored communication and support for female African American lung cancer survivors. Additional research is needed to inform the development of interventions focused on health behavior change to enhance lung cancer survivorship in this vulnerable and understudied group.

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