Experiences with Childhood Cancer among Latinx Families: Identification of Informational and Support Needs

Kristina Lopez, Courtney Gutierrez, Patricia Martarella, Gabriela Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Latinx children with cancer generally have poorer health outcomes than their non-Latinx White counterparts. The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of Latinx mothers whose children have been diagnosed with cancer at the onset of symptoms, the barriers surrounding the diagnostic process, and the resources families identify are needed post-diagnosis. The researchers conducted two focus groups (one in Spanish, one in English) with Latina mothers of children who have or experienced pediatric cancer in the United States. Two researchers conducted constant comparative analysis of the transcribed focus group audio recordings to identify themes. Themes included a sense of community support at the onset of symptoms, feelings of disbelief, helplessness, overload of information, and a need for advocacy in medical settings. Needs included more palatable and simplified information, financial assistance and resources, increased parental social support, accessible Spanish-speaking providers, and culturally informed care. Latina mothers indicated a range of challenges pertaining to childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment that may impact child and family outcomes. Implications for social work practitioners to reduce disparities and develop intervention programs for Latinx families of children with cancer are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Latinx
  • childhood cancer
  • disparities
  • families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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