Cancer Control Research5R21CA098107-02
Hughes-Halbert, Chanita A.
WEIGHT GAIN IN AFRICAN AMERICAN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Weight gain is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment that may have significant medical and psychological implications. Despite prior research showing that African American breast cancer survivors are significantly more likely to gain weight following diagnosis and treatment, limited information is available on the psychological and behavioral impact of post-treatment weight change among this population. Further, although previous research has shown that African American breast cancer survivors report significantly greater concerns about weight gain following treatment than Caucasian breast cancer survivors, limited information is available on how to facilitate effective weight management among this population. To fill this gap in our knowledge, we propose to conduct an exploratory study designed to evaluate the impact of post-treatment weight gain among African American breast cancer survivors. The specific aims are to: (1) evaluate the psychological and behavioral impact of post-treatment weight gain and (2) identify sociocultural correlates of these responses. This exploratory study will be implemented in two phases. Phase I will consist of qualitative focus groups with a minimum of 48 African American breast cancer survivors in order to understand experiences with and reactions to post-treatment weight gain. We will also develop and pilot test survey items at the end of Phase I. Phase II will be a cross-sectional survey study among 200 African American breast cancer survivors who have completed primary treatment for stage I, II, or IIIa disease, including adjuvant chemotherapy, within the past 12 to 18 months. Following study enrollment, participants will complete a survey assessment to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, weight-related distress, and weight management behaviors. After obtaining written informed consent, weight and height information will be abstracted from medical records. Regression analyses will be conducted to compare psychological and behavioral outcomes among weight gainers and weight maintainers. The results of this study will expand our knowledge about breast cancer survivorship among African American breast cancer survivors and will provide preliminary information that will be used to develop intervention strategies to address a specific side effect of breast cancer treatment among a medically underserved population.