eISSN: 2353-5571
ISSN: 2353-4184
Health Psychology Report
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2/2020
vol. 8
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Social support and quality of life in Greek women with breast cancer during chemotherapy and two years later

Iliana Goula
1
,
Victoria Alikari
2
,
Georgios Charalampous
3, 4
,
Foteini Tzavella
5
,
Sofia Zyga
5
,
Maria Tsironi
5
,
Paraskevi Theofilou
6, 7

1.
Department of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
2.
Department of Nursing, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
3.
Ippokrateio General Hospital of Athens, Greece
4.
Frederick University, Nicosia, Cyprus
5.
Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Tripoli, Greece
6.
General Direction of Health Services, Ministry of Health, Athens, Greece
7.
Institution for Counseling & Psychological Studies, Athens, Greece
Health Psychology Report, 8(2), 97–106
Online publish date: 2020/03/17
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Background
Social support in women with breast cancer is associated with quality of life (QoL) and it appears to be vital for treating breast cancer and adaptation to disease. Social support seems to decrease quantitatively and over time while significant improvement in the patients’ long-term emotional and physical function is observed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the differences in levels of social support and QoL in two independent groups of patients: women with breast cancer (i) during chemotherapy and (ii) two years after the chemotherapy.

Participants and procedure
In this cross-sectional study 74 women with breast cancer “during chemotherapy” (n = 41) and “two years after chemotherapy” (n = 33) completed the Greek version of Multi-dimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and the Greek version of the Missoula-VITAS Quality of Life Index (MVQoLI-15) to measure social support and QoL respectively. All statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 25 with significance set at p < .05.

Results
The group “two years after chemotherapy” reported better QoL than the “during chemotherapy” group. There was no difference in perceived social support between the two groups. The higher the patients’ age, the lower the QoL for the “during chemotherapy” group and the higher the social support for the “two years after chemo-therapy” group.

Conclusions
QoL improves over time, emphasizing the ability of women to manage difficult situations. Social support re-mains important in both periods.

keywords:

psycho-oncology; quality of life; social support

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