Examining the Relationship Between Diagnosis Factors, Perceived Social Support, Internal Control, and Quality of Life Among Female Breast Cancer Survivors
Keywords:breast cancer survivors, quality of life, tertiary prevention, health education approaches
Several factors have been identified in the literature to affect quality of life among breast cancer survivors. This study examined the relationship between breast cancer diagnosis factors, perceived social support, internal control, and breast cancer survivors’ quality of life via an online survey (N=252). Results of this exploratory study show that older age at diagnosis was correlated with higher quality of life and psychological wellbeing. Although results showed relatively high levels of social and family support, no statistical correlation was found between support and quality of life. Participants had confidence in their ability to perform tasks and manage their thoughts and behaviors in order to effectively navigate their life struggles and decisions. Additionally, seven breast cancer diagnosis factors appeared to impact overall quality of life or areas of well-being: age at diagnosis, time since diagnosis, type of breast cancer surgery, current treatment status, second breast cancer diagnosis, support group attendance, and breast cancer mutation testing. Findings from this study indicate that there are factors that impact quality of life of female breast cancer survivors. Health educators are specially positioned to develop partnerships with survivors and collaborate in support program development, implementation and continuing professional development.
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