Physicians recognize the need for and support informed decision making as a mechanism for helping men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and are considering treatment. Men need help to reduce decisional regret, reduce decisional conflict, improve satisfaction with their treatment decisions and develop a plan for coping with the sequelae of quality-of-life compromising side effects. A variety of factors interact at multiple socio-ecologic levels to facilitate or prevent informed decision making from occurring. The manner in which culture influences prostate cancer treatment decision-making among African Americans remains understudied. Research from other health contexts strongly suggests that participatory action research can be helpful in generating new culturally appropriate knowledge to apply to this problem. The central hypothesis of the proposed research is that interventions developed using participatory research approaches are effective for improving informed treatment decision making for prostate cancer with African-American men. The purpose of the current Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01) grant application is to provide the applicant, a newly appointed assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), with appropriate training and research experience that will enable him to function as an independent investigator building a research program in disparities and prostate cancer. Support provided by this training grant will provide Dr. Ross with sufficient release time (75%) to complete a career development plan that consists of carefully selected didactic coursework, individualized instruction, seminars, and research experiences grounded in applied ethnographic and community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods.
The aims of Dr. Ross'proposed research are (1) to formalize and strengthen a community-research partnership between a group of prostate cancer advocates and the Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute that will guide community driven cancer educational initiatives;(2) to conduct ethnographic research with African-American men and their significant others to provide a holistic, contextualized description of their experiences with prostate cancer treatment;and (3) to use a participatory research approach to create a culturally appropriate treatment decision-making intervention for African- American men and their significant others. The proposed training and experience in ethnography and CBPR will yield rich insights into prostate cancer education for hard-to-reach, high risk populations. It will also contribute vital information to the fields of health education and behavior to enhance cancer control.

Public Health Relevance

Public health and medical professionals struggle with helping African-American men make informed choices for prostate cancer treatment. This research will advance understanding of what is needed to develop culturally appropriate supports to assist African-American men and their significant others with this all important process.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
Program Officer
Davani, Behrous
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Georgia Southern University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Ross, Levi; Luque, John S (2016) Overview of Cancer Prevention and Control and African-Americans. J Cancer Educ 31:184-6
Ross, Levi; Johnson, Jarrett; Smallwood, Stacy W et al. (2016) Using CBPR to Extend Prostate Cancer Education, Counseling, and Screening Opportunities to Urban-Dwelling African-Americans. J Cancer Educ 31:702-708
Orom, Heather; Kiviniemi, Marc T; Shavers, Vickie L et al. (2013) Perceived risk for breast cancer and its relationship to mammography in Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. J Behav Med 36:466-76
Johnson, Jarrett; Ross, Levi; Iwanenko, Walter et al. (2012) Are podcasts effective at educating African American men about diabetes? Am J Mens Health 6:365-7
Anderson-Lewis, Charkarra; Ross, Levi; Johnson, Jarrett et al. (2012) Explaining and improving breast cancer information acquisition among African American women in the Deep South. South Med J 105:294-9
Ross, Levi; Dark, Tyra; Orom, Heather et al. (2011) Patterns of information behavior and prostate cancer knowledge among African-American men. J Cancer Educ 26:708-16