ERIC Number: EJ847852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Changes in Female Support Network Systems and Adaptation after Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Differences between Older and Younger Patients
Ashida, Sato; Palmquist, Aunchalee E. L.; Basen-Engquist, Karen; Singletary, S. Eva; Koehly, Laura M.
Gerontologist, v49 n4 p549-559 Aug 2009
Purpose: This study evaluates the changes in social networks of older and younger breast cancer patients over a 6-month period following their first diagnosis and how such modifications are associated with changes in the patients' mood state. Design and Methods: Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were interviewed shortly after their diagnosis and again 6 months later. Female support network members enumerated by patients were interviewed once within 3 months of the patients' initial interview. Results: Findings based on information for 149 network members of 26 patients indicate that members in older (greater than or equal to 51 years) patients' networks were less likely to be dropped at follow-up (odds ratio [OR] = 0.21, p = 0.04) compared with those in younger patients' networks. Network members who provided more support were less likely to be dropped by younger patients (OR = 0.42, p less than 0.01). Decrease in network size was associated with decrease in mood disturbances among younger patients (Profile of Mood State-Bipolar: beta = 0. 35, p less than or equal to 0.01). Implications: Reducing the number of network members after cancer diagnosis may not necessarily lead to psychological distress, providing support for self-regulation of social network resources among cancer patients. Older patients' network members were more embedded in patients' networks, making it more stable over time. Identifying important network members (e.g., frequent support providers for younger patients and family members for older patients) and facilitating positive social interactions between these network members and patients may be beneficial.
Descriptors: Age Differences, Females, Social Support Groups, Longitudinal Studies, Interviews, Interpersonal Relationship, Cancer, Patients, Social Networks, Psychological Patterns, Older Adults, Gerontology, Clinical Diagnosis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A