Role of the family, friends and significant others in providing social support and enhancing quality of life in cancer patients
Comenius University in Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia
Cancer is a disease that may potentially affect woman's daily life, including her physical activities, career and social life. Women dealing with cancer can benefit from supportive relationships, and there was found evidence of moderating effect of social support on the harmful effect of stressful events, including life-threatening disease and patient's quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of socio-demographic factors (age, education, employment and marital status, number of children, satisfaction with finances) on perceived social support, as well as the impact of social support on quality of life. 211 gynaecologic cancer patients (cervix, endometrium – 115; breasts – 52; ovaria – 44), between the ages of 34 and 80 were assigned for this study. The Multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS) and EORTC QoL C30 questionnaire were employed in the study. It was found that marital status, education, employment status and satisfaction with finances had an influence on social support. Positive correlation was found between total social support and family, friends and significant others subscale, and all functional subscales of quality of life questionnaire as well as overall quality of life Negative correlation was found between social support variables and most of the symptom subscales of QoL questionnaire, except for diarhea. Since the social support is one of the important factors affecting the survival of patients as well as their quality of life, healthcare professionals should also focus on building and strengthening patient's support network when working with these groups of women.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).