Mokuau, N., Braun, K.L., Wong, L.K., Higuchi, P., & Gotay, C.C. (2008). Development of a family intervention for Native Hawaiian women with cancer: A pilot study. Social Work, 53, 9–19.doi: 10.1093/sw/53.1.9
To determine the feasibility and impact of providing a family-oriented intervention incorporating Hawaiian values on native Hawaiian women with cancer
Recruited patients were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention group received sessions of informational and emotional support that incorporated prayer (often done by an elder), participant and staff disclosure of genealogies to affirm spiritual origins, and use of other cultural value items, such as graphics incorporating Hawaiian themes, plant fiber bags for program materials, and sharing of food. Sessions were focused on providing information on cancer basics and understanding of treatment and side effects, as well as information seeking and communication. Sessions included one or two patient-selected family members together. The intervention group had six sessions provided in a variety of locations, including homes, business offices, and libraries. Control group patients received two visits from the research team over three months and were provided with educational brochures and opportunity for having questions answered. Interventions were provided by master’s-prepared social workers.
A randomized prospective trial design was used.
In the intervention group, women showed significant improvement in F-COPES and decrease in BSI scores (p < 0.05). Family members also reported significant increase in self efficacy (p < 0.01) and F-COPES scores (p < 0.01). Women in the control group did not show change on any indicators, and their family members showed significantly poorer F-COPES total scores (p < 0.05).
Provision of a culturally relevant support intervention appeared to have a positive effect on Hawaiian patients and family members coping with cancer.
This study points to the need to consider provision of supportive interventions that are designed according to specific cultural values of participants. This particular study has a number of methodologic and reporting issues that limit the usefulness of findings.