Background: Latina metastatic breast cancer survivors, in particular those of low socioeconomic status, often receive unsatisfactory medical care and experience poor physician-patient communication and relationships.1 Patient education about metastatic breast cancer can improve communication between Latina survivors and caregivers and their health care team.2 This analysis explores participants’ experiences gained from Cancer Support Community’s national evidence-based educational program, Frankly Speaking about Cancer: Cáncer de seno metástatico (Metastatic Breast Cancer).

Methods:Frankly Speaking about Cancer (FSAC): Metastatic Breast Cancer is a comprehensive psychosocial educational program that provides information about current treatments, side effect management, and social and emotional challenges of an advanced breast cancer diagnosis. FSAC: Metastatic Breast Cancer was originally created in English and was then translated into Spanish to make the program more accessible to Spanish-speaking metastatic breast cancer survivors and caregivers in the US. 75 participants from 22 workshops across the country between 2018 and 2020 completed program evaluation surveys in Spanish and provided self-reported data on factors including pre- and post-workshop knowledge and intentions for patient-provider communication. Descriptive analyses and pre-and post-workshop comparisons were conducted to assess workshop outcomes.

Results: Most workshop participants were metastatic breast cancer patients/survivors (n=46); the remainder served in the caregiving capacity and included spouses/partners (n=19) and family members (n=10). The average age of participants was 61 years old (s.d.= 24.14 years). Among those with metastatic breast cancer, more than half (54%) received the diagnosis within the last two years; and only 29% reported being moderately to highly involved in their treatment decisions. 76% of respondents reported experiencing emotional distress due to their/their loved one’s cancer. Pre- and post-survey results show a significant gain in reported knowledge about metastatic breast cancer (χ²= 13.4, p <.05). Caregivers of Latina metastatic breast cancer survivors also demonstrated a significant gain from pre- to post-workshop in knowledge about metastatic breast cancer treatment options, confidence to participate in treatment decision-making with their health care team, and confidence in asking questions about side effects of metastatic breast cancer and its treatment. As a final point, 68% of cancer patients/survivors and 72% of caregivers reported that because of the workshops, they felt better prepared to emotionally cope with their metastatic breast cancer experience.

Discussion: Our findings indicate that educational workshops in Spanish can play a role in enhancing Latina patients’ self-perceived knowledge about metastatic breast cancer and empowering patients and caregivers to become active participants in their treatment decisions. These results underscore the importance of providing culturally specific educational resources to support patients and caregivers in their interactions with their health care team and advance breast health equity among Latinas.

Citation Format: Claire Saxton, Maria B. Gonzalo, Richa Ruwala, Kirstin Fearnley, Alyssa Jaisle. Impact of educational workshops on patient-provider communication among Spanish-speaking metastatic breast cancer survivors and their caregivers: Results from the frankly speaking about cancer: Cáncer de seno métastatico evidence-based educational workshops [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Virtual Symposium; 2020 Dec 8-11; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(4 Suppl):Abstract nr PS9-43.