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Effect of social support on changes in quality of life in early breast cancer patients: A longitudinal study

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalSCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF CARING SCIENCES
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Background: Breast cancer diagnosis as well as diversity of the treatment process deteriorates women's quality of life (QOL). Researchers have examined social support and its relations with QOL overall, but less is known about effects of social support on changes in QOL. Aims: The aim of this study was to examine social support received from social network and nurses within 6months and QOL in women with breast cancer. Methods: Women (N=164) after breast cancer surgery were quasi-randomized to the intervention (n=85) and control groups (n=79). Participants completed two well-known QOL questionnaires, and the questionnaire measuring received social support from network and from nurses both 1week and 6months after the breast cancer surgery. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and nonparametric tests. Logistic regression model with the enter method was employed to identify associations between social support and negative changes in QOL. Results: Affect and aid from network decreased in both groups and affirmation in the intervention group within 6months. No significant changes in received social support from nurses were found within groups. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference in the magnitude of changes over time was found between groups. Received social support had an effect on changes in sexual functioning, global QOL and health and functioning. Conclusions: Received social support decreased in both groups within 6months. Significant effects of social support on negative changes on QOL were found. Social support tailored to women's individual needs is an essential part of the care in patients with breast cancer. For further research, longitudinal designs for longer period should be established to explore social support and its effects on QOL.

Keywords

  • Breast cancer, Nurses, Nursing, Quality of life, Support, Women