An investigation of the relationship between social support and coping with stress in women with breast cancer

Psychooncology. 2018 Sep;27(9):2214-2219. doi: 10.1002/pon.4798. Epub 2018 Jul 11.


Objectives: Social support may play a role in effective stress management and make a positive contribution to the health of women with breast cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the ways of coping with stress and levels of perceived social support of women with breast cancer, as well as the associated factors.

Methods: The descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted with 100 women with breast cancer at a training and research hospital in Turkey. Data were collected using an information form including sociodemographic and disease characteristics, the Scale of Ways of Coping with Stress, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support.

Results: Effective ways of coping with stress were found to be significantly lower in women who were primary school graduates and who did not undergo surgery (P < .05). The women's levels of effective coping with stress decreased with increasing age, and as the score of perceived social support from family and total score of perceived social support increased, so did the levels of effective coping with stress (P < .05). It was determined that social support and age significantly predicted effective stress management (P < .05).

Conclusions: Social support given to women with breast cancer is a key reference point in effective stress management, and increased age also has an important effect on women's ability to cope with stress.

Keywords: breast cancer; coping with stress; nurse; social support; women.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Cancer Survivors / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey