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Differential Mental Health Impact of Cancer Across Racial/Ethnic Groups: Findings from a Population-based Study in California (BioMed Central Public Health)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2005); Adult; Low-Income; Hispanic/Latino; African-American; Cancer; Mental and Emotional Health

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1160&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="{7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=1160&RootFolder=*">Héctor E. Alcalá</a>

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​This study examines the extent to which a cancer diagnosis is realted to poorer mental health because it erodes finances and the extent to which the mental health impact of cancer differs across racial/ethnic groups. The study aims to test the stress process model, which proposes that the proliferation of stress can lead to mental illness and that the process can differ across racial/ethnic groups.

Data from the 2005 Adult California Health Interview Survey were used, as was Kessler 6, a measure of psychological distress. After controlling for gender, age, insurance status, education and race/ethnicity, cancer was associated with higher Kessler 6 scores. About 6% of this effect was mediated by household income (t = 4.547; SE = 0.011; p < 0.001). The mental health impact of cancer was significantly worse for Latinos and Blacks than for non-Hispanic Whites. The mental health impact of cancer is not uniform across groups. Future work should explore reasons for these disparities. Efforts to increase access to mental health services among minorities with cancer are needed.


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Journal Article: Differential Mental Health Impact of Cancer Across Racial/Ethnic Groups: Findings from a Population-based Study in California

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Press Release

Related Link 1

California Health Interview Survey

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UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

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Created at 9/10/2014 9:19 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 9/10/2014 2:46 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia