Purposeful Interaction: Ways Latino Men Communicate About Prostate Cancer

Sally L. Maliski

Sarah E. Connor

Mark S. Litwin

prostate specific antigen, prostatic neoplasms
ONF 2012, 39(6), 603-608. DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.603-608

Purpose/Objectives: To develop a descriptive framework of the communication processes used by Latinos with prostate cancer to communicate about their diagnosis.

Research Approach: A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to analyze and build a descriptive framework from semistructured interviews.

Setting: A university-affiliated urban hospital in southern California.

Participants: 30 Latinos treated for prostate cancer, who had at least one first-degree male relative (FDMR), and who lived near the medical center.

Methodologic Approach: Semistructured interviews with bilingual Latinos were conducted in participants' homes in the language they preferred. Individual and collaborative analyses of translated transcripts were guided by constructivist grounded theory.

Findings: Analysis uncovered an overarching process of purposeful interacting. Components of the process included occasionally overlapping spheres of communication, which were connected to purposes and content. Balanced in and influenced by the spheres were cross-cutting processes of respectful silence and selective disclosure.

Conclusions: Men communicated different content about their prostate cancer to people representing different reference groups. Respectful silence and selective disclosure could be viewed as men's enactment of social interaction—using and choosing words based on the symbolic meaning the men perceived would have their intended meaning for the people in each of the spheres.

Interpretation: Culturally sensitive educational interventions should be targeted at Latinos with prostate cancer to understand risk and encourage disclosure to FDMRs.

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