Social Support and Hopelessness in Patients with Breast Cancer


Background: Patients with breast cancer can experience a feeling of hopelessness very deeply in the adjustmentprocess, and the social support provided during this period can be effective in increasing the level of hope.The present study aimed to identify breast cancer patients’ social support and hopelessness level. Materialsand
Methods: The target population of this analytical study was all breast cancer patients (total of 85) whohad treatment in the oncology department of a university hospital located in Adana/Turkey and who met theinclusion criteria. Data were collected through “Personal Information Form”, “Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS)”and “Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support” (MSPSS). Analysis was performed using ShapiroWilk, One Way ANOVA Welch, Student t-test, Mann Whitney U, and Kruskall Wallis tests. Homogeneity ofvariance was tested with the Levene, Bonferroni and Games Howell tests. Mean scores and standard deviationvalues are given as descriptive statistics.
Results: Average age of the participants with breast cancer is 48.6±10.6.Of all the participants, 84.7% are married, 49.4% graduated from primary school, 81.2% are housewives, and82.4% had children. The participants’ multidimensional perceived social support total scores were found tobe high (57.41±13.97) and hopelessness scale scores low (5.49±3.80). There was a reverse, linear relationshipbetween hopelessness scale scores and social support total scores (r=-0.259, p=0.017). A statistically significantrelationship was found between hopelessness scores and education level and having children, occupation, incomestatus, and education level of spouses (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The present study indicates that hopelessness ofthe patients with breast cancer decreased with the increase in their social support. Therefore, activating patientsocial support systems is of importance in increasing their level of hope.