Urban voices: The quality-of-life experience among women of color with breast cancer

Aanne M. Fatone, Alyson B. Moadel, Frederick W. Foley, Megan Fleming, Lina Jandorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Objectives: Research on the health-related quality of life (HRQL) among women of color (i.e., Hispanics and African Americans) with breast cancer suggests that they may be at elevated risk for a variety of physical and psychosocial sequelae. The context in which these women perceive, experience, and respond to these HRQL challenges can provide important information for planning a culturally appropriate palliative care treatment plan. Methods: In an effort to understand the quality of life experience after breast cancer among women of color, this study describes the nature and impact of physical, emotional, and menopausal symptoms among African American (n = 8) and Hispanic (n = 12) breast cancer survivors based on qualitative data gathered through semistructured interviews. Themes were identified and categorized into six HRQL domains: physical (e.g., pain, nausea), psychological (e.g., sadness, irritability), cognitive (e.g., memory problems), sexual (e.g., decreased desire), social/functional (e.g., financial strain, social distress), and spiritual/existential (e.g., increased faith, spiritual coping), with high interrater reliability (kappa = .81). Results: For both groups, physical issues had a major impact on HRQL, with psychological issues being additionally salient for Hispanic women. Most (88%) African American women voiced positive changes in their faith after diagnosis whereas 50% of Hispanic women viewed faith as an important way of coping with breast cancer. Significance of results: This research broadens our understanding of the experience of breast cancer among ethnic minority women, and in turn, offers some key directions for guiding the development of culturally tailored HRQL interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Breast cancer
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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