Role of Perceived Social Support in Obtaining Cancer Diagnostic Care
Methods: Surveys were collected from medically underserved primary care patients following identification of an abnormality suspicious for breast or colorectal cancer using 12-item scale evaluating self-efficacy for obtaining recommended cancer diagnostic care (Arevalo, 2012), the 12-item Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, 1983), and the 12-item Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-Short Form (Cohen, 1985). Pearson correlations were conducted between social support, stress, and self-efficacy. Eight multivariable linear regression analyses were used to evaluate whether various types of social support predicted stress and self-efficacy when controlling for age and site of cancer abnormality.
Results: One hundred and five participants completed surveys (84% female; 76% Spanish speaking; mean education: 8.8 years; mean age: 42.1 years). Social support was negatively correlated with stress (p=.031) and positively correlated with self-efficacy (p<.001). When controlling for age and cancer site, social support was not significantly associated with stress [F(3)=1.93, p=.130], but was associated with self-efficacy for getting diagnostic care [F(3)=4.88, p=.003]. In two regressions, both tangible and appraisal social support each explained 11% of the variance in self-efficacy, when combined with age and site of abnormality (p=.009, p=.008, respectively).
Conclusions: Tangible and appraisal support are critical for a person to feel confident in their ability to obtain follow-up care for a cancer abnormality. Future research should examine the link between social support and receipt of cancer diagnostic care.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the relationship between social support and self-efficacy for obtaining cancer diagnostic care for a suspected cancer abnormality. Describe the relationship between social support and stress for obtaining cancer diagnostic care for a suspected cancer abnormality.
Keyword(s): Cancer, Underserved Populations
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an undergraduate psychology student completing an honors thesis in the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University under the guidance of Dr. Kristen Wells. I have served as a research assistant for two years in three research laboratories in the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University and currently work in the Cancer Disparities and Cancer Communication Lab.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.