ABCR  Vol.3 No.2 , April 2014
Social Support Provided to Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment: A Study Review
ABSTRACT

Breast cancer treatment may have implications for women’s quality of life and social support, which refers to mechanisms through which interpersonal relationships protect people from the detrimental effects of stress. This study’s objective was to analyze evidence available in the literature concerning social support provided to women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS), PubMed, Web of Science, Psycinfo and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases were used to select the studies. The papers were pre-selected after reading titles and abstracts and ten papers were ultimately selected after fully reading the texts. The studies were summarized, while their methodological designs and results were noted. The analysis of the studies shows that social support can be provided to women with breast cancer, such as emotional, instrumental and informational support. It is apparent that emotional and instrumental support is provided in the first phase of the treatment. The main sources of support include the spouses, family members and friends. Spouses provide emotional support, but mainly provide instrumental support, while family members and friends are the most important source of emotional support. The conclusion is that emotional support greatly contributes to the health-disease continuum, favoring treatment adherence and creating opportunities for women to express their feelings, positively influencing the treatment.


Cite this paper
Fernandes, A. , Cruz, A. , Moreira, C. , Santos, M. and Silva, T. (2014) Social Support Provided to Women Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment: A Study Review. Advances in Breast Cancer Research, 3, 47-53. doi: 10.4236/abcr.2014.32007.
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