We evaluated the helpfulness of informational, emotional, and decision-making support received by women newly diagnosed with breast cancer from their family, friends, and health care providers. Data were collected at two time points via patient surveys: baseline on an average 2 months post-diagnosis and follow-up at 5 months post-baseline. In the period closer to diagnosis, majority of the women received helpful informational support from health care providers (84.0%); helpful emotional support from family (85%), friends (80.4%), and providers (67.1%); and helpful decision-making support from providers (75.2%) and family (71.0%). Emotional support at baseline and emotional and informational support at 5-month follow-up were significantly associated with patients' health-related quality of life and self-efficacy outcomes (p<0.01). Perceived helpfulness of informational, emotional, and decision-making support provided by family, friends, and providers however significantly decreased over time (p<0.001). Cancer patients' desire significant amount of support throughout their cancer journey. Our results show that while patients receive a lot of support during the period closer to diagnosis, receipt of helpful support drops significantly within the first year itself. In order to facilitate cancer patients' adjustment to their illness, efforts need to be made to understand and address their support needs throughout the cancer experience.
"The main aim of the present study was to gain a more thorough understanding of the contribution of critical variables that determine individual differences in the level of psychological distress experienced by newly diagnosed breast cancer patients before they begin treatment. Thus, variables that could exacerbate or lessen patients' psychological distress (e.g., Grassi et al., 1993; Merluzzi & Sanchez, 1997; Merluzzi et al., 2001; Gilbar, 2003; Mosher & Danoff-Burg, 2005; Friedman et al., 2006; Arora et al., 2007; Henselmans et al., 2010; Heitzmann et al., 2011; Philip et al., 2013), were included in a model linking age, knowledge about breast cancer, attitudes toward cancer, coping efficacy, social support and distress outcomes. The findings of a SEM analysis substantially confirmed our hypothesized path model. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. The diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of cancer can present individuals with a multitude of stressors at various points in that trajectory. Psychosocial distress may appear early in the diagnostic process and have negative effects on compliance with treatment and subsequent quality of life. Purpose. The aim of the study was to determine early-phase predictors of distress before any medical treatment. Method. Consistent with the goals of the study, 123 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients (20 to 74 years old) completed multiple indicators of knowledge about breast cancer management and treatment, attitudes toward cancer, social support, coping efficacy, and distress. Results. SEM analysis confirmed the hypothesized model. Age was negatively associated with the patient's knowledge (β = −0.22), which, in turn, was positively associated with both attitudes toward breast cancer (β = 0.39) and coping self-efficacy (β = 0.36). Self-efficacy was then directly related to psychological distress (β = −0.68). Conclusions. These findings establish indicators of distress in patients early in the cancer trajectory. From a practical perspective, our results have implications for screening for distress and for the development of early interventions that may be followed by healthcare professionals to reduce psychological distress.
"The prevalence of negative answers for material support (35.2% for the codes related to
individual activities and family, friends, community, and other relationships) corresponds
to the data found in literature, which suggested a potential deleterious impact caused not
only in the patient by the disease but also in members of their social net48). Therefore, it is necessary to invest in
services that are able to evaluate and follow the conditions of those who deal with
oncological patients. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: [Purpose] The aim of this study was to evaluate the functionality of women diagnosed with breast cancer according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). [Subjects and Methods] This was a cross-sectional study. We applied instruments consistent with the summary of ICF codes for breast cancer: quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL), upper limb symptoms and function (DASH), social support, physical examination and functional medical record data. [Results] The study included 105 women who were 55 years old and subjected to surgical treatment within an average of 1.63 year previously. The 'function' component considered in the WHOQOL, the DASH and physical examination. There were high prevalences of positive responses for most codes, and only b130, d430, d445, d640, d650, d920 and codes of environmental factors considered by the Social Support Questionnaire showed high prevalences of negative responses (47.6%, 61%, 43.8%, 63.8%, 56.2%, 52.4%, and 35.2%, respectively). [Conclusion] There was a lower prevalence of disability, with the exception of issues related to strenuous activity and load. Some findings showed conflicting results between different instruments that measure the same code, and studies that propose more accurate tools and are able to consider the ICF codes specific to this pathology are necessary.
"However, the availability of test for other psychiatric disorders and emergence of genetic research findings in PTSD suggest the possibility that direct-to-consumer tests for the PTSD risk could be developed in the near future. Due to the prominence of support from friends and family in medical decision making (Arora et al., 2007) and the implications of genetic testing for family members' risk of a disorder that affects the patient, it is also important to evaluate the attitudes of a support person (e.g., spouse or family member) toward genetic testing decisions. Unfortunately, the perspectives of patients with PTSD and their families on genetic research have yet to be investigated. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The perspectives of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on genetic research have not yet been investigated in the genetics research literature. To provide a basis for research on attitudes toward genetic research in PTSD, we surveyed the U.S. Military Afghanistan/Iraq-era veterans with PTSD and their social support companions to investigate the attitudes and knowledge about genetics and genetic testing. One hundred forty-six veterans (76 with PTSD and 70 without PTSD) participated in this study. Each veteran participant had a corresponding companion (primarily spouses, but also relatives and friends) who they identified as a primary member of their social support network. Participants and companions completed self-report measures on knowledge of genetics and attitudes toward genetic testing for PTSD. Results indicated that, relative to veterans without PTSD, veterans with PTSD had similar levels of genetic knowledge, but less-favorable attitudes toward genetic testing. Differences persisted after controlling for age and genetics knowledge. No differences between companions of those with and without PTSD were observed. Results suggest that the perspective of those with PTSD regarding genetic testing is in need of further investigation, especially if potentially beneficial genetic testing for PTSD is to be utilized in the target population.
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