Research Article  |   January 2017
Occupational Engagement in Low-Income Latina Breast Cancer Survivors
Author Affiliations
  • Alix G. Sleight, OTD, OTR/L, is PhD Candidate, Mrs. T. H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; sleight@usc.edu
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Centennial Topics
Research Article   |   January 2017
Occupational Engagement in Low-Income Latina Breast Cancer Survivors
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2017, Vol. 71, 7102100020p1-7102100020p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023739
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 2017, Vol. 71, 7102100020p1-7102100020p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023739
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This qualitative study examined the experience of occupational engagement in low-income Latina breast cancer survivors and suggests the potential for occupational therapy practitioners to improve health outcomes in this vulnerable and underserved population.

METHOD. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 9 participants. Inductive analysis was used to code for themes and patterns related to occupational engagement and quality of life (QOL).

RESULTS. Lack of occupational engagement negatively affected QOL, but participation in occupations such as religious activity and caregiving promoted well-being. Financial concerns and communication barriers decreased QOL.

CONCLUSION. Breast cancer can have a negative impact on occupational engagement in low-income Latina breast cancer survivors; however, some occupations may increase QOL. Socioeconomic status and cultural values influence occupational engagement and QOL. Occupational therapy practitioners can improve health outcomes in this population through awareness of relevant sociocultural factors and attention to appropriate patient communication.