Effect of Perceived Social Support on Psychosocial Adjustment of Turkish Patients with Breast Cancer


Aims: To identify the psychosocial adjustment of Turkish patients with breast cancer and the effects ofperceived social support on their adjustment. Materials and
Methods: The sample comprised 100 volunteeringpatients diagnosed with breast cancer in the last six months reporting to the Outpatient Chemotherapy Unit atthe Medical Faculty Hospital in northern Turkey. The data for the study were collected through the DescriptiveInformation Form, the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale-Self-reflection (PAIS-SR) and the Cancer-SpecificSocial Support Scale and analyzed via SPSS 16.0 for Windows. Descriptive statistics, Chi square test, ANOVAand correlation were used to evaluate data.
Results: There was a negative significant correlation between meanscores in the sub-scales of the social support scale and the ones in the sub-scales of the psychosocial adjustmentto illness scale (p<0.05). Similarly, there was a negative significant correlation between confidence supportand health care orientation as well as adjustment to social environment. Likewise, emotional support was ina negative significant correlation with health care orientation, adjustment to domestic environment, extendedfamily relationships and adjustment to social environment.
Conclusions: It was concluded that social supportfor patients with breast cancer had an influence on their psychosocial adjustment to illness. Holistic care shouldbe given to breast cancer patients by oncology nurses especially in the first six months of treatment. It could beconcluded that patients should be accompanied by their family/relatives in treatment and care following theirdiagnosis with breast cancer, that their family should be made more aware of the fact that the patient should bephysically and psychologically supported, that patients with breast cancer should be provided with domiciliarycare, and that they should be encouraged to participate in social support groups.