Religious Coping and Types and Sources of Information Used in Making Prostate Cancer Treatment Decisions

Janice Bowie, Caryn N. Bell, Altovise Ewing, Ballington Kinlock, Ashley Ezema, Roland J Thorpe, Thomas A. LaVeist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Treatment experiences for prostate cancer survivors can be challenging and dependent on many clinical and psychosocial factors. One area that is less understood is the information needs and sources men utilize. Among these is the influence of religion as a valid typology and the value it may have on treatment decisions. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between race, religion, and cancer treatment decisions in African American men compared with White men. Data were from the Diagnosis and Decisions in Prostate Cancer Treatment Outcomes Study that consisted of 877 African American and White men. The main dependent variables sought respondents’ use of resources or advisors when making treatment decisions. Questions also assessed men perceptions of prostate cancer from the perspective of religious coping. After adjusting for age, marital status, education, and insurance status, race differences in the number of sources utilized were partially mediated by cancer was a punishment from God (β = −0.46, SE = 0.012, p <.001), cancer was a test of faith (β = −0.49, SE = 0.013, p <.001), and cancer can be cured with enough prayer (β = −0.47, SE = 0.013, p <.001). Similarly, race differences in the number of advisors utilized in making the treatment decision were partially mediated by cancer was a punishment from God (β = −0.39, SE = 0.014, p =.006), and cancer was a test of faith (β = −0.39, SE = 0.014, p =.006). Religious views on prostate cancer may play an important role in explaining race differences in information used and the number of advisors utilized for treatment decision making for prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1246
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017



  • African American men
  • decision making
  • prostate cancer
  • religion
  • treatment decisions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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