Background: Religious coping (i.e. religious practices or beliefs that help an individual adapt to a stressful situation) has been shown to help African American breast cancer survivors obtain a better quality of life as well as find purpose from their cancer experience. Both prayer and church attendance are believed to be the most common religious coping practices among African American breast cancer survivors. However, relatively little is known about: 1) the relative commonness of religious coping practices; and, 2) which sources of social support (i.e. church members, clergy leaders, family, and friends) may also influence religious coping among survivors. Objective(s): To assess the prevalence of religious coping mechanisms and the sources of social support who influence African American breast cancer survivors. Methods: The current study was a secondary analysis of the OASIS (Offering African American Survivors Increased Support) study. Participants were eligible for this study if they identified as being an African American female adult and were diagnosed between 2011-2014 within a local hospital in Chicago, IL. Eligible participants answered a modified version of the Church-based Social Support Scale and responded to open-ended questions related to their social support experiences by members of their social network. Results: A total of 33 participants completed the questionnaire at the time of data analysis. Weekly religious service attendance was highly prevalent among study participants post-diagnosis (n=12, 36.4%). Approximately eighteen percent of survivors (n=6) reported praying throughout their breast cancer journey. No participants reported receiving prayer from their church members or clergy leaders. However, nine participants (27.3%) expressed that a family member and/or a friend offered to pray for them throughout their cancer experience. Conclusion: There was a relatively high prevalence of church attendance. Family and friends appeared to be the more common source of influence in the form of religious coping through prayer. Future researchers should consider partnering with both family and friends when conducting faith-based and religious-based interventions to improve quality of life among African American breast cancer survivors.

Citation Format: Shaila M. Strayhorn, Nyahne Q Bergeron, Desmona Strahan, Aditya Khanna, Kariem Watson, Dana Villines, Yamilé Molina. “Place it in God’s hands”: Exploring the influence of sources of social support and religious coping practices of African American breast cancer survivors [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2019 Sep 20-23; San Francisco, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl_2):Abstract nr D025.