Objective: To examine whether health-related stressors and resources are associated with physical function, depression, and anxiety in Chinese American and White breast cancer survivors.
Method: During 2011-2013, this cross-sectional study enrolled Chinese American and White women from California cancer registries diagnosed with Stage 0-III breast cancer between 2006 and 2012. Survivors completed a telephone survey assessing health-related factors including comorbidity, treatment-related symptoms, medical communication, perceived threat, use of coping, and social support resources. Outcomes were assessed using the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System® (PROMIS®) short forms. Chinese were classified as low- or high-acculturated based on English proficiency, years in the United States, and interview language. Analyses were conducted using Tobit regression models.
Results: Low-acculturated Chinese (n = 136) had worse physical functioning than Whites (n = 216), controlling for demographics, cancer stage, and time since diagnosis (β = -3.33, p = .01). This disparity was attenuated after adjusting for comorbidity and symptoms (β = -1.63, p = .18). Perceived threat, disengagement coping, and lack of social support were associated with poorer psychological outcomes, regardless of ethnicity. Although low-acculturated Chinese had lower scores on all health-related factors than Whites, the former reported significantly lower level of depression (β = -3.23) and anxiety (β = -5.8) after adjusting for covariates (both p < .05). High-acculturated Chinese (n = 84) did not differ from Whites except that the former had significantly lower anxiety.
Conclusion: Low-acculturated Chinese may benefit from interventions aimed to improve their physical problems. However, despite experiencing greater psychosocial stress, they reported better emotional functioning. Whether Chinese culture shapes this resiliency, or if it is a reporting bias will need further investigation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).