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Open Access Article

Latino Men and Familial Risk Communication About Prostate Cancer

Elisabeth M. Hicks
Mark S. Litwin
Sally L. Maliski
ONF 2014, 41(5), 509-516 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.509-516

Purpose/Objectives: To investigate how familial communication about prostate cancer (PCa) risk and screening affects sons of men with PCa.

Research Approach: Qualitative grounded theory.

Setting: Southern California.

Participants: 17 Latino sons of PCa survivors.

Methodologic Approach: The team conducted semistructured interviews and follow-up interviews. Therefore, the sample includes 25 transcripts. Data were analyzed with a mix of a priori topical codes and grounded theory techniques.

Findings: Sons were in need of information about familial risk and screening options. They became sensitized to PCa, desired information, and held protective intentions. Hopeful intentions came up against cultural taboos around sex, reproductive health, and intimacy that limited discussions between fathers and sons. Fathers were a valued source of information but play various roles, which affect sons' screening intentions. Open communication between father and son promoted awareness of screening and familial risk.

Conclusions: Uncertainty about familial risk and screening options, especially early detection strategies, was exacerbated by cultural taboos around PCa. Fathers could have been primary and credible advocates for shared decision making, but sons had difficulty learning from their fathers' experience.

Interpretation: Findings from the study can help inform community-based interventions with Latino families, help to culturally tailor health messaging, and sensitize clinicians to a group that needs concerted counseling about PCa risk and screening.

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