Project Title:An Exploration of the Mental Health Needs of Young Women with Breast Cancer and Implications for Developing Patient Educational Materials
Pearman Parker, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN, is a clinical instructor in the College of Nursing. The KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award will support her project examining perceived mental health needs of young women with breast cancer. This project will also explore the mental health content within breast cancer educational materials.
Young women (18 – 45 years of age) with breast cancer are especially vulnerable to overwhelming daily stressors of cancer and face unique mental health challenges. However, due to the urgency of undergoing treatment and managing physiological side effects, mental health needs such as depression and anxiety are often not a priority. Younger women with breast cancer often have to learn about their disease and ways to cope with mental health at convenient times amidst the competing demands of treatment, family, and work responsibilities. They frequently rely on easily accessible cancer education materials to accommodate daily life schedules. However, we do not know the extent to which cancer education materials address mental health needs of this population, nor if the mental health content that does exist is readable and understandable for patients with a variety of health literacy skill levels. The purpose of this study is to explore the perceived mental health needs and the mental health content within cancer educational materials for young women with breast cancer. This study will provide the foundation for this program of research, which is dedicated to developing tailored educational interventions to improve the breast cancer treatment experience.
Dr. Parker joined the College of Nursing as a new faculty member in 2019. She received her doctorate from the University of South Carolina where her dissertation was funded through the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Dr. Parker draws upon her years as a psychiatric nurse and journalist to inform her evolving research.
Jean McSweeney, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FAHA, Associate Dean for Research; Professor, UAMS College of Nursing
Kristin Zorn, MD, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Associate Professor, Genetics, UAMS College of Medicine
Joseph Su, PhD, Co-Director, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Center; Professor, Department of Epidemiology, UAMS College of Public Health
Kristie Hadden, PhD, Executive Director, UAMS Center for Health Literacy; Associate Professor, Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, UAMS College of Medicine.
Carolyn Greene, PhD, National Program Manager, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Washington DC; Associate Professor, Health Services Research Division, UAMS Department of Psychiatry