Perceived helpfulness and impact of social support provided by family, friends, and health care providers to women newly disgnosed with breast cancer

ArticleinPsycho-Oncology 16(5):474-86 · May 2007with24 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.44 · DOI: 10.1002/pon.1084 · Source: PubMed

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.

    • "Older participants reported less received social support and less influence from their social network on their cancer treatment DM. Previous studies have found that family and significant others influence cancer treatment DM (Arora, Finney Rutten, Gusafson, Moser, & Hawkins, 2007; Petrisek et al., 1997; Schonberg et al., 2014; Sio et al., 2014). In contrast with our study, Sio and colleagues (2014) found that the amount of influence from social networks on treatment DM does not differ by age. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the decision-making (DM) styles of younger (18-39 years), middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (≥60 years) cancer survivors, the type and role of social support, and patient satisfaction with cancer treatment DM. Method: Adult cancer survivors (N = 604) were surveyed using Qualtrics online software. Results: Older adults reported significantly lower influence of support on DM than younger adults. The most common DM style for the age groups was collaborative DM with their doctors. Younger age was a significant predictor of independent (p < .05), collaborative with family (p < .001), delegated to doctor (p < .01), delegated to family (p < .001), and demanding (p < .001) DM styles. Discussion: Despite having lower received social support in cancer treatment DM, older adults were more satisfied with their DM than younger and middle-aged adults. Health care workers should be aware of different DM styles and influence of social networks to help facilitate optimal patient DM and satisfaction.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Aging and Health
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    • "Until now, the research regarding parental cancer has mainly focused on describing the parents' challenges regarding their risk of impairment of psychosocial health, quality of life, and parental capacity [4,12]. In addition, they have described their positive and negative experiences with social network support [7,8]. Descriptive research documents that children living with parental cancer are especially exposed and vulnerable, and that their physical, psychosocial, and behavioral impairments largely depend upon their parents' coping abilities [23,24]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Parental cancer can have a significant impact on a family's psychosocial functioning and quality of life, whereby the children's situation is strongly related to parental coping and capacity. Such parents ask for more help in order to increase their care capacity, while the network is often insecure about how to help and thereby withdraw. They ask for guidance and training to be able to support cancer families. Based on this, the Cancer- Psycho-Educational Program for the SOcial NEtwork (PEPSONE) study was developed. Objective: To optimize social network support through a psycho-educational program for families living with parental cancer and their network members in order to increase parental capacity and thereby secure the children's safety and quality of life. Methods: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) in which families (N=60) living with parental cancer will be randomized to either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention will last for 3 hours and includes (1) introduction, (2) psycho-education (living with cancer in the family and the importance of social network support), and (3) discussion (this family's need for social support). Primary outcomes are social support, mental health, and quality of life, and secondary outcomes are resilience and parental capacity. Data will be collected by a set of questionnaires distributed to healthy parents (N=60) living with a partner with cancer, one child in the family between 8-18 years of age (N=60), and network members (N=210) of the intervention families at inclusion, and after 3 and 6 months. Comparing differences between the intervention group (n=30) and the control group (n=30), the power analysis shows that P<.05 and a statistical power = .80 would detect effect sizes of clinical interest. Results: This paper presents the Cancer-PEPSON study's protocol to provide a broader understanding of the background and content of the program. The study is ongoing until August 2016 and the first results are anticipated to be finished by November 2015. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this will be the first RCT study to optimize social network support through a psycho-educational program for families living with parental cancer and their network members, as well as provide an evidence basis for social network support. The results may provide important knowledge that is useful for clinical practice and further research. The trial is reported according to the CONSORT checklist. Clinicaltrial: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 15982171; (Archived by WebCite at
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
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    • "Recently, genetic researchers have reported that polymorphisms in some cytokines genes are potential markers for pain and depression in cancer patients [31, 32]. Psychospiritual factors linking pain and depression includes demoralization [33], loss of dignity [34], loss of hope [35], loss of help [36] and poor family/social support [37, 38]. These studies may support our findings. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Although many cross-sectional studies have demonstrated the association between cancer pain and psychospiritual distress, the time-dependent relationship has not been fully explored. For that reason, this study aims to investigate the time-dependent relationship between psychospiritual distress and cancer pain management in advanced cancer patients. Methods: This is a prospective observational study. Two hundred thirty-seven advanced cancer patients were recruited from a palliative care unit in Taiwan. Demographic and clinical data were retrieved at admission. Pain and psychospiritual distress (i.e.: anxiety, depression, anger, level of family and social support, fear of death) were assessed upon admission and one week later, by using a "Symptom Reporting Form". Patients were divided into two groups according to the pain status one week post-admission (improved versus not improved groups). Results: One hundred sixty-three (68.8 %) patients were assigned to the improved group, and 74 (31.2 %) patients were assigned to the not improved group. There were no differences in the psychospiritual variables between groups upon admission. In overall patients, all psychospiritual variables improved one week post-admission, but the improvement of depression and family/social support in the not improved group was not significant. Consistent with this, for depression scores, there was a statistically significant pain group x time interaction effect detected, meaning that the pain group effect on depression scores was dependent on time. Conclusions: We demonstrated a time-dependent relationship between depression and pain management in advanced cancer patients. Our results suggest that poor pain management may be associated with intractable depression. The inclusion of interventions that effectively improve psychospiritual distress may contribute to pain management strategies for advanced cancer patients.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Palliative Care
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