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08-06-2024 | Breast Cancer | Research

Burden and trajectory of social needs after breast cancer diagnosis at a safety-net hospital

Authors: Eileen C. Howard, Mara E. Murray Horwitz, Christine M. Gunn, Sharon Bak, Kerrie P. Nelson, Samantha Morton, JoHanna G. Flacks-Dunning, Tracy A. Battaglia

Published in: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

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Abstract

Purpose

Unmet social needs pose barriers to cancer care, contributing to adverse outcomes and health inequities. A better understanding of how social needs change after cancer diagnosis can inform more effective, equity-focused interventions.

Methods

In this study, we examined self-reported social needs at 0, 3, and 6 months after a breast cancer diagnosis in a racially diverse, multilingual sample (n = 222) enrolled in patient navigation intervention at an urban safety-net hospital. At each timepoint, respondents completed surveys about social needs related to employment, disability benefits, housing and utilities, and personal and family stability.

Results

Over three-quarters (78%, n = 175) reported ≥ 1 social need, and 46% (n = 102) reported ≥ 3 social needs. The most frequently reported need was housing and utilities (64%, n = 142), followed by employment (40%, n = 90). Individuals from minoritized groups more frequently reported an increased number of social needs over time, compared with their White counterparts (p = 0.02).

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that despite navigation, many cancer patients from historically underrepresented populations continue to experience social concerns over the first 6 months of treatment. Further research, conducted with historically underrepresented populations in research, is needed to better understand the social needs of breast cancer patients to inform effective and equitable interventions.
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Metadata
Title
Burden and trajectory of social needs after breast cancer diagnosis at a safety-net hospital
Authors
Eileen C. Howard
Mara E. Murray Horwitz
Christine M. Gunn
Sharon Bak
Kerrie P. Nelson
Samantha Morton
JoHanna G. Flacks-Dunning
Tracy A. Battaglia
Publication date
08-06-2024
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
Print ISSN: 0167-6806
Electronic ISSN: 1573-7217
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-024-07389-5
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