Community-Guided Focus Group Analysis to Examine Cancer Disparities
Abstract

Abstract:

Background: Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism™ and Equity (ACCURE) is a systems-change intervention addressing disparities in treatment initiation and completion and outcomes for early stage Black and White breast and lung cancer patients. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, ACCURE is guided by a diverse partnership involving academic researchers, a nonprofit community-based organization, its affiliated broader based community coalition, and providers and staff from two cancer centers.

Objectives: This paper describes the collaborative process our partnership used to conduct focus groups and to code and analyze the data to inform two components of the ACCURE intervention: 1) a “power analysis” of the cancer care system and 2) the development of the intervention’s training component, Healthcare Equity Education and Training (HEET), for cancer center providers and staff.

Methods: Using active involvement of community and academic partners at every stage in the process, we engaged Black and White breast and lung cancer survivors at two partner cancer centers in eight focus group discussions organized by race and cancer type. Participants were asked to describe “pressure point encounters” or critical incidents during their journey through the cancer system that facilitated or hindered their willingness to continue treatment. Community and academic members collaborated to plan and develop materials, conduct focus groups, and code and analyze data.

Conclusions: A collaborative qualitative data analysis process strengthened the capacity of our community–medical–academic partnership, enriched our research moving forward, and enhanced the transparency and accountability of our research approach.