Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate among female cancer patients their perceived social support from health care professionals (HCPs), family and friends, and public media, and their perspective on care concerning body changes. Methods: A study-specific questionnaire was completed by 235 female cancer patients. Descriptive statistics were used to describe social support and perspective on care. Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations between social support and sociodemographic and clinical factors, psychosocial impact, and importance of appearance. Results: More than half of the patients received sufficient support from HCPs (54%) and family and friends (55%), and a third from the media (32%). Higher educated patients and those who found appearance not important during illness perceived lower support from HCPs. Patients without a partner, and those with a surgical treatment only, perceived lower support from family and friends. Patients who were older, higher educated, without a partner, and those who found appearance not important during illness perceived lower support from the media. In total, 15–50% of the patients received sufficient care for different domains of body changes. Patients expressed the highest need for psychological support (28%) and nutrition (28%). Conclusions: Half of the female cancer patients reported to receive sufficient social support concerning body changes after cancer. Perceived support depended on age, education, relationship status, and treatment modality. The need for more care was moderate.
Melissant, H. C., van Uden-Kraan, C. F., Lissenberg-Witte, B. I., & Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M. (2019). Body changes after cancer: female cancer patients’ perceived social support and their perspective on care. Supportive Care in Cancer, 27(11), 4299-4306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-04729-w