The Asian Immigrant Cancer Survivor Experience in the United States: A Scoping Review of the Literature



Document Type

Journal Article

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Publication Title

Cancer nursing





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BACKGROUND: Cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans, a growing population in the United States. While cancer survivors often experience complex issues after diagnosis, being an immigrant and having cancer pose additional challenges. OBJECTIVE: This scoping review analyzed research about immigrant cancer survivors of Asian ethnicity in the United States and provided a structured method to understand an area of research and evidence. Aims focused on immigrants' experiences and how findings could tailor evidence-based interventions, programs, and resources. METHODS: The PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus databases were searched to identify studies in English (2009-2018) targeting Asian immigrant cancer survivors in the United States. While 385 records were initially identified, 32 studies met the inclusion criteria. RESULTS: Thematic analysis of charted study elements revealed 4 themes with subthemes: (1) survival patterns, (2) barriers, (3) culturally informed care, and (4) quality of life (QOL). While qualitative studies provided insight about the cancer experience from immigrants' perspectives, quantitative designs posed descriptions and associations among QOL concepts. CONCLUSIONS: Study results illustrate the need for survival research that explores outcomes by Asian ethnic subgroups and tracks the influence of acculturation. Future research should test culturally informed interventions that minimize barriers and foster QOL across the cancer continuum. Culturally tailored instruments can expedite larger-scaled studies that allow generalization. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Asian immigrants comprise an underserved, vulnerable, and growing group with various cancers. Nurses who care for immigrants and their families should be cognizant of cultural beliefs, values, practices, and issues related to communication, care access, and socioeconomics.

Open Access

Green Accepted