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PURPOSE: Research in the area of cultural response pattern on questionnaires in the oncological setting and direct cross-cultural comparisons are lacking. This study examined response pattern in the reporting of depressive symptoms in Chinese and US women with breast cancer. We hypothesized that Chinese women are less likely to endorse positive affect items compared to their US counterparts. Additionally, we explored cultural differences in the association between positive affect and QOL. METHODS: Secondary analyses of baseline assessments of two mind-body intervention studies for women with breast cancer undergoing radiotherapy in the USA (N = 62) and China (N = 97) are presented. All participants completed measures of depressive symptoms (CES-D) and cancer-specific QOL (FACT-B). We examined cultural differences on positive and negative affect items on the CES-D. RESULTS: Controlling for demographic factors, ANCOVA revealed a significant cultural difference in positive (F = 7.99, p = 0.005) but not negative affect (p = 0.82) with Chinese women reporting lower positive affect compared to US women (Chinese = 6.97 vs. US = 8.31). There was also a significant cultural difference (F = 3.94, p = 0.03) in the association between positive affect and QOL so that lower positive affect was more strongly associated with worse emotional well-being in Chinese (beta = 0.57, p < 0.0001) than US women (beta = 0.35, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Chinese women reported lower positive affect compared to US women and lower levels of positive affect were more strongly associated with worse QOL. Special attention is needed when examining mental health in different cultures to ascertain effective delivery of clinical services to those in need.

OBJECTIVE: It has been speculated that cancer survivors in Asia may have lower quality of life (QOL) compared with their Western counterparts. However, no studies have made international comparisons in QOL using a comprehensive measure. This study aimed to compare Chinese breast cancer survivors' QOL with US counterparts and examine if demographic and medical factors were associated with QOL across groups. METHOD: The sample consisted of 159 breast cancer patients (97 Chinese and 62 American) who completed the Functional Assessment for Cancer Therapy Breast Cancer (FACT-B) scale before the start of radiotherapy in Shanghai, China and Houston, USA. RESULTS: Higher income was associated with higher QOL total scores in both Chinese and American cancer patients, but QOL was not significantly associated with other factors including age, education, disease stage, mastectomy, and chemotherapy. Consistent with hypotheses, compared to their US counterparts, Chinese breast cancer survivors reported lower QOL and all four subdimensions including functional well-being (FWB), physical well-being (PWB), emotional well-being (EWB), and social well-being (SWB); they also reported more breast cancer-specific concerns (BCS). Differences were also clinically significant for Functional Assessment for Cancer Therapy General (FACT-G) scale total scores and the FWB subscale. After controlling for demographic and medical covariates, these differences remained except for the SWB and BCS. Furthermore, Chinese breast cancer survivors receiving chemotherapy reported significantly lower FACT-G scores than those who did not, but this difference did not emerge among US breast cancer survivors. DISCUSSION: Chinese breast cancer survivors reported poorer QOL on multiple domains compared to US women. Findings indicate that better strategies are needed to help improve the QOL of Chinese breast cancer survivors, especially those who underwent chemotherapy.

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) afflicts millions of people worldwide, with particularly high prevalence in military veterans. Many treatment options exist for CLBP, but most have limited effectiveness and some have significant side effects. In general populations with CLBP, yoga has been shown to improve health outcomes with few side effects. However, yoga has not been adequately studied in military veteran populations. In the current paper we will describe the design and methods of a randomized clinical trial aimed at examining whether yoga can effectively reduce disability and pain in US military veterans with CLBP. A total of 144 US military veterans with CLBP will be randomized to either yoga or a delayed treatment comparison group. The yoga intervention will consist of 2x weekly yoga classes for 12weeks, complemented by regular home practice guided by a manual. The delayed treatment group will receive the same intervention after six months. The primary outcome is the change in back pain-related disability measured with the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire at baseline and 12-weeks. Secondary outcomes include pain intensity, pain interference, depression, anxiety, fatigue/energy, quality of life, self-efficacy, sleep quality, and medication usage. Additional process and/or mediational factors will be measured to examine dose response and effect mechanisms. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, 6-weeks, 12-weeks, and 6-months. All randomized participants will be included in intention-to-treat analyses. Study results will provide much needed evidence on the feasibility and effectiveness of yoga as a therapeutic modality for the treatment of CLBP in US military veterans.

Chronic low back pain (CLBP) afflicts millions of people worldwide, with particularly high prevalence in military veterans. Many treatment options exist for CLBP, but most have limited effectiveness and some have significant side effects. In general populations with CLBP, yoga has been shown to improve health outcomes with few side effects. However, yoga has not been adequately studied in military veteran populations. In the current paper we will describe the design and methods of a randomized clinical trial aimed at examining whether yoga can effectively reduce disability and pain in US military veterans with CLBP. A total of 144 US military veterans with CLBP will be randomized to either yoga or a delayed treatment comparison group. The yoga intervention will consist of 2x weekly yoga classes for 12weeks, complemented by regular home practice guided by a manual. The delayed treatment group will receive the same intervention after six months. The primary outcome is the change in back pain-related disability measured with the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire at baseline and 12-weeks. Secondary outcomes include pain intensity, pain interference, depression, anxiety, fatigue/energy, quality of life, self-efficacy, sleep quality, and medication usage. Additional process and/or mediational factors will be measured to examine dose response and effect mechanisms. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, 6-weeks, 12-weeks, and 6-months. All randomized participants will be included in intention-to-treat analyses. Study results will provide much needed evidence on the feasibility and effectiveness of yoga as a therapeutic modality for the treatment of CLBP in US military veterans.