Health Disparities and Cancer Survivorship
Grant #: P30- CA06873-S1
PI: Abeloff, Martin
Project Leader: Zabora, James, PhD
Title: Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention to Address Depression & Improve QOL
The specific aims of this pilot project are to: (1) Investigate the effect of a 4-session problem-solving educational intervention on levels of elevated depression among African American cancer survivors and; (2) Investigate the effect of the problem-solving intervention on the increase of problem-solving skills and the enhancement of quality of life.
In studies of depression among African Americans, levels of depressive symptoms are significantly higher than other populations (Blazer et al., 2000; Wang et al., 2000; Dwight-Johnson et al., 2000). Furthermore, African Americans are significantly less likely to receive anti-depressants (Melfi et al., 2000) and mental health services (Blazer et al., 2000) despite evidence of a willingness to participate in mental health counseling (Dwight-Johnson et al., 2000). In a study by Conerly, Baker, Dye, Douglas, and Zabora (2001), 40% of African American cancer survivors had scores at 16 or above on the Center for Epidemiologic Study Depression Scale (CES-D). Given these issues, brief and cost-effective interventions are needed to address these disparities.
The proposed project in this application differs from previous studies in two major ways. First, the current study will focus on African American cancer survivors at the conclusion of cancer therapies with a specific emphasis on problem-solving for depression. Second, the current study adds additional sessions given the prevalence and level of depression found among African American cancer survivors as well as telephone support for a three-month period.