Social Support and Psychological and Physical States Among Japanese Patients With Breast Cancer and Their Spouses Prior to Surgery

Reiko Makabe

Tadashi Nomizu

ONF 2007, 33(3), 651-655. DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.651-655

Purpose/Objectives: To assess social support and psychological and physical states among Japanese patients with breast cancer and their spouses prior to surgery.

Design: Descriptive, comparative, and correlational.

Setting: A general hospital in northern Japan.

Sample: 38 Japanese patients with breast cancer and their spouses (N = 76).

Methods: The Japanese versions of three questionnaires were used to collect data before surgery: the Interpersonal Relationship Inventory, the General Health Questionnaire, and the Physical States Interview Form.

Main Research Variables: Social support (support, conflict, and reciprocity), social network, and psychological and physical states.

Findings: Significant differences were found in support and reciprocity between patients and their spouses. However, no significant differences were found in social network, conflict, or psychological states between patients and their spouses. Moreover, some significant correlations were found in the variables of conflict, social network, and psychological and physical states.

Conclusions: Japanese patients with breast cancer perceived more support and reciprocity than their spouses before their breast surgery. Conflict was significantly correlated with psychological states among Japanese women with breast cancer and their spouses.

Implications for Nursing: Healthcare professionals need to consider social support as an important factor to help Japanese patients with breast cancer and their spouses cope with the disease.

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