Publication Abstract

Authors: Forsythe LP, Alfano CM, Kent EE, Weaver KE, Bellizzi K, Arora N, Aziz N, Keel G, Rowland JH

Title: Social support, self-efficacy for decision-making, and follow-up care use in long-term cancer survivors.

Journal: Psychooncology 23(7):788-96

Date: 2014 Jul

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Cancer survivors play an important role in coordinating their follow-up care and making treatment-related decisions. Little is known about how modifiable factors such as social support are associated with active participation in follow-up care. This study tests associations between social support, cancer-related follow-up care use, and self-efficacy for participation in decision-making related to follow-up care (SEDM). We also identified sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with social support among long-term survivors. METHODS: The FOllow-up Care Use among Survivors study is a cross-sectional, population-based survey of breast, prostate, colon, and gynecologic cancer survivors (n=1522) 4-14 years post-diagnosis. Multivariable regression models were used to test associations between perceived social support (tangible and emotional/informational support modeled separately), follow-up care use (past 2 years), and SEDM, as well as to identify factors associated with perceived support. RESULTS: Neither support type was associated with follow-up care use (all p>0.05), although marital status was uniquely, positively associated with follow-up care use (p<0.05). Both tangible support (B for a standard deviation increase (SE)=9.75(3.15), p<0.05) and emotional/informational support (B(SE)=12.61(3.05), p<0.001) were modestly associated with SEDM. Being married, having adequate financial resources, history of recurrence, and better perceived health status were associated with higher perceived tangible and emotional support (all p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: While perceived social support may facilitate survivor efficacy for participation in decision-making during cancer follow-up care, other factors, including marital satisfaction, appear to influence follow-up care use. Marital status and social support may be important factors to consider in survivorship care planning.