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Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine; Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

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Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Neoplasms | Oncology | Psychiatry and Psychology | Therapeutics


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the preferences, the use, satisfaction of mental health services (MHS) among a sample of Puerto Rican patients with cancer undergoing oncology treatment.

METHODS: A convenience sample of 120 patients diagnosed with cancer was recruited. Self-report questionnaires assessed socio-demographic and background questions, and the Mental Health Service Preference, Utilization and Satisfaction Questionnaire (MHSPUS). The Socio-demographic and Background Questionnaire inquired about participants' demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and included questions such as history of psychiatric diagnosis and spiritual practices. Univariate and Chi square analyses were used for descriptive purposes. Logistic regressions were used to explore associations between sociodemographic factors and MHS preferences and use.

RESULTS: The majority of the sample were females (53.8%), 61 and older (53.8%), and married or living with partner (57.1%), and reported an income equal to or less than $12,000 per year (44.4%), which places them under the US federal poverty line. Most of the participants (66.7%) reported being receptive to seeking services. Findings showed a significant association between living situation and past (p < .05) and lifetime use (p < .05) of MHS and past use of MHS. Participants living alone were more like to have used MHS in the past and during their lifetime. Adjusted logistic regression analyses revealed that living with someone was a protective factor for not using MHS in their lifetime (OR = 0.28; C1 = 0.08-0.95). Participants preferred to receive MHS at the oncology clinic, preferably on the date of their oncology appointments and during morning hours.

CONCLUSION: Findings support the integration of mental health services within the oncology practice setting.


Mental health and psychiatry, Oncology, Mental health therapies, Emotions, Hispanic people, Cancer treatment, Cancer detection and diagnosis, Puerto Rico

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Copyright: © 2019 Castro-Figueroa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



PLoS One. 2019 Jul 18;14(7):e0216127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216127. eCollection 2019. Link to article on publisher's site

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PloS one

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.