Identifying the informational and psychosocial needs of Chinese immigrant cancer patients: A focus group study

Jennifer Leng, Trevor Lee, Umut Sarpel, Jessy Lau, Yanjun Li, Connie Cheng, Ming Der Chang, Francesca Gany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose The Chinese immigrant community faces multiple barriers to quality cancer care and cancer survivorship. Psychosocial interventions can positively impact quality of life, anxiety, and distress in cancer patients. In this study, we explored the informational and psychosocial needs of Chinese cancer patients to inform the development of culturally targeted support and survivorship interventions. Methods We conducted four focus groups with a total of 28 Chinese cancer patients to elucidate their cancer informational and psychosocial needs. The groups were conducted using standard methodology and guided by communitybased participatory research principles. Sessions were audio recorded, transcribed, and translated into English. The research team conducted the analysis. Results Frequently occurring themes included (1) the need for accurate information on cancer and treatment options, (2) the role of language barriers in accessing cancer care, (3) the role of food in cancer and the need for nutritional information, and (4) the role of Chinese medicine in cancer treatment. Participants expressed significant dissatisfaction with the amount, reliability, and/or comprehensibility of available information. Conclusions Support groups and programs should be developed to address participants' needs for more information on cancer and its treatment. Programs should educate and empower patients on how to find further Chinese language information and resources and effectively communicate their questions and needs to providers in an interpreted encounter. System-level approaches should be implemented to ensure provision of interpretation services. Additionally, programs should incorporate the unique cultural needs of this population related to food/nutrition and Chinese medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3221-3229
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer support
  • Chinese
  • Focus groups
  • Immigrants
  • Survivorship


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