Current Women`s Health Reviews

John Yeh  
Harvard Medical School 
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA
USA

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The Role of Culture and Ethnicity in the Adjustment to Gynecological Cancer

Author(s): Jung-won Lim.

Abstract:

This study reviews articles describing cultural and ethnic influences on health outcomes for women diagnosed with gynecological cancer along the cancer continuum: 1) early detection and screening, 2) treatment, and 3) survivorship. Specifically, this study investigates what ethnic and cultural differences influence cancer outcomes and explores cultural factors that are active along the cancer continuum. Studies addressing the roles of culture and ethnicity in the adjustment to gynecological cancer are relatively rare. Overall, most cultural and ethnic studies have focused on either cancer screening or survivorship, while a number of studies regarding medical issues have focused on ethnic differences in cancer treatment and survival. Studies focused on early detection and screening, cultural variables, including cultural beliefs, acculturation, lack of information, and individual- and area-level socio-economic status, have been used as indicators to investigate the effect of culture on outcomes. In survivorship studies, social support, acculturation, socioeconomic status, and religiosity have been included in the analyses. However, only the social support variable has been investigated as a cultural factor in the treatment stage. The development of standardized definitions and assessments of culture, the inclusion of diverse cultural factors in studies and practice, the establishment of evidence-based practice, and health care policy changes are recommended as strategies to maximize adjustment and improve quality of life for women at risk of and diagnosed with gynecological cancer.

Keywords: Adjustment, cancer continuum, culture, ethnicity, gynecological cancer, ovarian malignancies, screening, socio-economic status, Fecal Occult Blood Test

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Article Details

VOLUME: 7
ISSUE: 4
Year: 2011
Page: [379 - 390]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/157340411799079571
Price: $58