Female Breast Cancer Survivor’s Perspective of Support Systems in Trinidad and Tobago

Andrea McDonald*, Isabella Francis-Granderson, Olivia Johnson, Antoinette Coward, Brendon Bhagwandeen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globally, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. The Cancer Registry of Trinidad and Tobago indicated that 45.9% of the breast cancer cases belonged to the African ethnicity, 27.5% Asian Indian, and 14.7% mixed ethnicity. Research on female breast cancer survivors' perspectives on support systems and care within the Caribbean region is limited. Therefore, this study aims to examine female breast cancer survivors' perspective of support systems in Trinidad and Tobago. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 74 cancer survivors attending support groups. To be eligible, the participants had to be females 18 years or older, residents of Trinidad and Tobago diagnosed with breast cancer, and attending any support group session. The participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire with questions regarding sociodemographic characteristics, benefits of support groups, and perception of quality of care. All (n=74) participants indicated they were part of a support group at the facility or elsewhere. Most participants were between 46-65 years old. The three primary factors identified influencing initial participation in the support groups were feeling emotionally detached from family, having no family support, cancer education opportunities, and spiritual well-being. Providing support groups reduces stress and anxiety by creating a safe environment to maintain a healthier quality of life coping behaviour and improve survival rate. More research is needed to provide continuous education on essential coping skills after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalThe Journal of the Research Association of Minority Professors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


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