New Orleans, LA The latest findings of the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project reveal potential new targets for reducing racial disparities in prostate cancer survival and highlight the importance of the health care delivery system. The study reports differences in physician trust, access to care, and continuity of care between African American and Caucasian men which result in advanced prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis and contribute to the higher death rate among African American men. The study is published in the early view issue of Cancer online July 27, 2009.
Study nurses conducted in depth in-home interviews with more than 1,000 North Carolina and Louisiana men age 50 and up, newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Data in this manuscript were obtained from the interview and from medical record review.
This study examined health care system factors that may influence outcomes. System factors include availability of health care facilities, the services offered at those facilities, the systems in place to trigger appropriate utilization of those services, and clinician time pressures or encounter characteristics may impede their ability to fully address patient needs. Other factors such as provider bias, erroneous stereotypes or lack of understanding of minorities may also influence patient trust, health behaviors, and receptivity toward seeking or utilizing health care services.
"The lack of access to care, lack of a medical home and lack of a relationship with a medical provider may result in a delayed diagnosis that translates to advanced disease and higher rates of death from prostate cancer for African Americans," notes Elizabeth T. H. Fontham, DrPH, Dean of the School of Public Health at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, who is the principal investigator of the Louisiana portion, and co- principal investigator of the entire study.
In this study, the stage at diagnosis of prostate cancer was simil
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Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center