Objective: It is well known that cancer patients' perception of social support is associated with their depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life. However, there have been little studies that compared the variates of cancer patients with the general population. We sought to compare differences in the level of perceived social support and the impact of perceived social support on depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life between cancer survivors and the general population.Methods: Data were collected from 1818 cancer patients treated at the National Cancer Center and regional cancer centers in South Korea. The control group of the general population was composed of 2000 individuals without cancer from community.Results: Cancer patients reported significantly higher level of perceived social support than the general population, while they reported lower health-related quality of life and were more susceptible to depression. The positive associations of higher perceived social support with lower depressive symptoms, as well as with higher health-related quality of life, were stronger among cancer patients than among the general population.Conclusions: The interaction effect suggests that the impact of social support would be stronger among cancer patients than the general public. Thus, it would be beneficial to pay attention to providing social support to cancer patients, particularly to those who are more vulnerable. Furthermore, investigation of the most effective and efficient methods to deliver social support interventions would be worthwhile.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support for this study was provided by a grant from the National Cancer Center of Korea (No. 0910191); the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP, No. 2016R1A2B4011045); the National R&D Program for Cancer Control (No. 1020010).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research