Black cancer survivors are less likely to receive desired psychological services than non-Hispanic White survivors. Black cancer survivors with low socioeconomic status may face additional barriers to receipt of psychological services. This study examined socioeconomic disparities in psychological service recommendation, attempts to access, and receipt among Black breast cancer (BC) survivors.
Black BC survivors (n = 249) completed surveys at baseline (T1) and follow-up (T2; M 1.6 years post-T1). At T1, participants reported socioeconomic characteristics (employment, income, insurance, and education) and psychological symptoms (hospital anxiety and depression scale [HADS]). Self-reported address was used to identify area deprivation index (ADI), a composite measure of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage (least disadvantaged = 1; most disadvantaged = 10). At T2, participants reported provider recommendations for, attempts to access, and receipt of psychological services. Logistic regressions examined relationships between socioeconomic characteristics and psychological service variables, controlling for baseline psychological symptoms.
In multivariable analyses, being employed was associated with a lower likelihood of attempts to access (OR = 0.25) and receipt of (OR = 0.37) psychological services, above and beyond the effect of psychological symptoms. Univariate analyses demonstrated that participants from more disadvantaged areas (i.e., higher ADI) were more likely to receive psychological services (OR = 1.20), but this effect became non-significant in multivariable analyses.
Results highlight the importance of an intersectional perspective in considering mental health care disparities; both race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status should be incorporated when considering barriers and facilitators of psychological care.