The Landscape of Perception: Racial Differences in How Disability Is Viewed Among Older-Adult Cancer Survivors

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2021 Jun 23:914150211024174. doi: 10.1177/00914150211024174. Online ahead of print.


This paper compares disability perceptions of Black with white older cancer survivors’ to document racial disparities in these perceptions and the factors that contribute to them. The data are from a randomly selected tumor registry sample of 321 older adult cancer survivors from an NCI funded study. OLS regression models of disability perceptions, nested by race, examined the effects cancer and non-cancer health factors along with important covariates. Black older adult cancer survivors perceived themselves to be more disabled than did white survivors. Multivariate analyses showed a strong relationship between functional difficulties and disability perceptions for both Black and white survivors. However cancer-related factors such as continuing symptoms of the illness or treatment were relatively more important for Blacks. The findings suggest that race and cancer are both important factors in our understanding of disability in later life. These findings can then inform clinical best practices among minority older adults.

PMID:34162239 | DOI:10.1177/00914150211024174