Publication Abstract

Authors: Palmer NR, Weaver KE, Hauser SP, Lawrence JA, Talton J, Case LD, Geiger AM

Title: Disparities in barriers to follow-up care between African American and White breast cancer survivors.

Journal: Support Care Cancer 23(11):3201-9

Date: 2015 Nov

Abstract: PURPOSE: Despite recommendations for breast cancer survivorship care, African American women are less likely to receive appropriate follow-up care, which is concerning due to their higher mortality rates. This study describes differences in barriers to follow-up care between African American and White breast cancer survivors. METHODS: We conducted a mailed survey of women treated for non-metastatic breast cancer in 2009-2011, 6-24 months post-treatment (N = 203). Survivors were asked about 14 potential barriers to follow-up care. We used logistic regression to explore associations between barriers and race, adjusting for covariates. RESULTS: Our participants included 31 African American and 160 White survivors. At least one barrier to follow-up care was reported by 62 %. Compared to White survivors, African Americans were more likely to identify barriers related to out-of-pocket costs (28 vs. 51.6 %, p = 0.01), other health care costs (21.3 vs. 45.2 %, p = 0.01), anxiety/worry (29.4 vs. 51.6 %, p = 0.02), and transportation (4.4 vs. 16.1 %, p = 0.03). After adjustment for covariates, African Americans were three times as likely to report at least one barrier to care (odds ratio (OR) = 3.3, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-10.1). CONCLUSIONS: Barriers to care are common among breast cancer survivors, especially African American women. Financial barriers to care may prevent minority and underserved survivors from accessing follow-up care. Enhancing insurance coverage or addressing out-of-pocket costs may help address financial barriers to follow-up care among breast cancer survivors. Psychosocial care aimed at reducing fear of recurrence may also be important to improve access among African American breast cancer survivors.