A cancer patient's psychosocial stability has a significant impact on his response to medical therapy, therefore, access to effective support is an important adjunct to treatment. This study will assess the psychosocial support systems available to Hispanic cancer patients of New Mexico. The broad aims of the study are to define the social support networks used by Hispanics of New Mexico with cancer and to identify areas of inadequate public social support that may be due to inaccessibility, cultural bias and prejudice. The hypothesis is that Hispanics have easily identifiable social support systems, however, these are not adequate to meet the needs of an individual dealing with cancer; in spite of this, they underutilize public support when compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
The specific aims of the study are to identify social services available to all cancer patients of New Mexico, to determine the differences in patterns of use between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients and the reasons for those differences, to evaluate traditional, """"""""family"""""""" support systems, and to identify resources to aid in designing models that would provide services to better meet the psychosocial needs of Hispanic patients in New Mexico. To accomolish these goals, the following will be performed: Phase I Research - The Principal Investigator will interview staff in organizations that provide support to identify available services and gather information about patterns of use. Phase II Research - Individuals with cancer will be identified by the New Mexico Tumor Registry. They will be interviewed regarding their own support systems and satisfaction with their support. Each will identify a """"""""significant other,"""""""" who will also be interviewed. Training - Provide the Principal Investigator with a broad background in the study of epidemiology and public health to prepare for future research in the area of special populations.