Cancer support groups: meeting the needs of African Americans with cancer

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2001 Aug;17(3):171-8. doi: 10.1053/sonu.2001.25946.


Objectives: To describe culturally appropriate ways that cancer support groups can meet the needs of African Americans with cancer.

Data sources: Research articles and clinical experience.

Conclusions: Support groups are an important vehicle through which people cope with the emotional and physical impact of their cancer. Most support group participants are middle-class, white women. Faith-based cancer support groups can address the needs of many African Americans with cancer by offering support and education within the context of a spiritually based life-style.

Implications for nursing practice: Coping strategies may vary among cultural groups. In order to be supportive, cancer support groups must be congruent with the values and beliefs of the group's members.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Black or African American*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / nursing
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Oncology Nursing
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • United States