Social Support and Hopelessness in Patients with Breast Cancer

  • Oztunc, Gursel (Cukurova University Adana Health Science School, Nursing Department) ;
  • Yesil, Pinar (Cukurova University Adana Health Science School, Nursing Department) ;
  • Paydas, Semra (Cukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Oncology) ;
  • Erdogan, Semra (Mersin University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics)
  • Published : 2013.01.31


Background: Patients with breast cancer can experience a feeling of hopelessness very deeply in the adjustment process, 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. Materials and Methods: The target population of this analytical study was all breast cancer patients (total of 85) who had treatment in the oncology department of a university hospital located in Adana/Turkey and who met the inclusion criteria. Data were collected through "Personal Information Form", "Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS)" and "Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support" (MSPSS). Analysis was performed using Shapiro Wilk, One Way ANOVA Welch, Student t-test, Mann Whitney U, and Kruskall Wallis tests. Homogeneity of variance was tested with the Levene, Bonferroni and Games Howell tests. Mean scores and standard deviation values are given as descriptive statistics. Results: Average age of the participants with breast cancer is $48.6{\pm}10.6$. Of all the participants, 84.7% are married, 49.4% graduated from primary school, 81.2% are housewives, and 82.4% had children. The participants' multidimensional perceived social support total scores were found to be high ($57.41{\pm}13.97$) and hopelessness scale scores low ($5.49{\pm}3.80$). There was a reverse, linear relationship between hopelessness scale scores and social support total scores (r=-0.259, p=0.017). A statistically significant relationship was found between hopelessness scores and education level and having children, occupation, income status, and education level of spouses (p<0.05). Conclusions: The present study indicates that hopelessness of the patients with breast cancer decreased with the increase in their social support. Therefore, activating patient social support systems is of importance in increasing their level of hope.


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