Objective: Over 40 million Americans provide informal caregiving to adults, which can negatively impact their personal life and their physical and mental health. The purpose of this study was to describe social support and coping strategies among prostate cancer family caregivers and to assess for racial/ethnic differences.

Methods: Secondary data analysis of baseline data from the Managing Uncertainty in Stage B Prostate Cancer Study was conducted. This longitudinal randomized experimental intervention study enrolled Caucasian and African‐American men with localized prostate cancer and their primary family caregivers residing in North Carolina from 1993–1998. 120 Caucasian and 49 African‐American female family caregivers of prostate cancer patients were included in the analysis. We compared means of social support amount and satisfaction and utilization of coping strategies by race/ethnicity group.

Results: Racial/ethnic differences exist in the amount of social support received and some coping methods. However, there was no variation in satisfaction with social support by race or ethnicity.

Conclusions: Results suggest that though Caucasian and African‐American female family caregivers differ in the amount of social support received, the level of satisfaction with the support tends to be consistent across race/ethnic groups. Racial/ethnic differences in coping methods need to be elucidated since the way of coping may reflect important sociocultural factors.

Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2010;3(1 Suppl):B11.