Association between aspects of social support and health-related quality of life domains among African American and White breast cancer survivors

J Cancer Surviv. 2021 Oct 16. doi: 10.1007/s11764-021-01119-2. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Social support is associated with breast cancer survivors’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). More nuanced information is needed regarding aspects of social support associated with different HRQoL domains among diverse populations. We assessed the association between emotional/informational and tangible support and five HRQoL domains and evaluated race as an effect modifier.

METHODS: African American and White women (n = 545) diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer completed a survey that assessed sociodemographic, clinical, and psychosocial factors. We assessed bivariate relationships between emotional/informational and tangible support along with overall HRQoL and each HRQoL domain.We tested interactions between race and emotional/informational and tangible social support using linear regression.

RESULTS: The sample included African American (29%) and White (71%) breast cancer survivors. Emotional/informational social support had a statistically significant positive association with emotional well-being (β = .08, p = 0.005), social well-being (β = 0.36, p < 0.001), functional well-being (β = .22, p < .001), breast cancer concerns (β = .16, p = 0.002), and overall HRQoL (β = .83, p < .001). Similarly, tangible social support had a statistically significant positive association with emotional well-being (β = .14, p = 0.004), social well-being (β = .51, p < .001), functional well-being (β = .39, p < .001), and overall HRQoL (β = 1.27, p < .001). The interactions between race and social support were not statistically significant (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Results underscore the importance of the different social support types among breast cancer survivors, regardless of survivors’ race.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Population-based interventions can be standardized and disseminated to provide guidance on how to increase emotional/information and tangible support for all breast cancer survivors by caregivers, health providers, and communities.

PMID:34655040 | DOI:10.1007/s11764-021-01119-2