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Perceived Social Support Lower for Cancer Caregivers Vs Patients

Greater support for caregivers may substantially strengthen the sense of coherence

doctor and patient

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A sense of coherence (SOC) is associated with cancer patients' acceptance of their illness, according to a study published Aug. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Małgorzata Pasek, M.D., Ph.D., from the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology in Cracow, Poland, and colleagues surveyed 80 dyads composed of cancer patients and their caregivers to assess perceived support and SOC in relationship to acceptance of illness in cancer patients.

The researchers found that caregivers presented with significantly lower levels of perceived social support and weaker SOC compared with the cancer patients. Perceived support levels determined SOC in caregivers and patients. The SOC in caregivers turned out to be a key determinant influencing acceptance of illness in cancer patients, both directly and indirectly, via their perceived social support and their SOC.

"The sense of coherence, an intrinsic psychological factor determined by social support, is an important determinant of illness acceptance," the authors write.

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