Perceived Social Support as a Predictor of Disease-Specific Quality of Life in Head-and-Neck Cancer Patients

Frank J. Penedo, Lara Traeger, Catherine Benedict, Giovana Thomas, Jason R. Dahn, Madeline Hernandez Krause, W. Jarrard Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Treatment for head-and-neck cancer (HNC) can lead to severe decrements in disease-specific quality of life (DSQOL) due to disfigurement and disability in speech, eating, and/or breathing. Psychosocial factors such as social support may explain individual variance in DSQOL outcomes. Objective: The researchers sought to evaluate changes in perceived availability of social support from pretreatment to posttreatment and to determine whether decreases in perceived social support predicted poorer posttreatment DSQOL among HNC patients, controlling for disease- and treatment-related factors. Methods: Participants (n = 32) were newly diagnosed with HNC and were awaiting surgery and/or radiation treatment. Measures included the ENRICHD Social Support instrument (ESSI) to assess perceived social support and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head & Neck (FACT-H&N) to assess DSQOL. Paired-samples t-tests and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine relationships between pretreatment and posttreatment perceived social support and DSQOL. Results: Perceived social support decreased significantly from pre- to posttreatment (F[31] = -2.71, P < .01). After adjusting for relevant covariates and pretreatment DSQOL, change in perceived social support remained a significant predictor of posttreatment DSQOL (β = .47, P < .01). Limitations: This study included a relatively small sample of HNC patients, which limited power to evaluate mechanisms of observed relationships. Conclusions: Increased social isolation may be a risk factor for poorer physical recovery from, or adjustment to, treatment-related side effects. Social support may be an important target for psychosocial interventions for patients who face challenging treatment side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Supportive Oncology
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

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Head and Neck Neoplasms
Social Support
Quality of Life
Therapeutics
Social Adjustment
Social Isolation
Respiration
Neck
Eating
Regression Analysis
Research Personnel
Radiation
Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Perceived Social Support as a Predictor of Disease-Specific Quality of Life in Head-and-Neck Cancer Patients. / Penedo, Frank J.; Traeger, Lara; Benedict, Catherine; Thomas, Giovana; Dahn, Jason R.; Krause, Madeline Hernandez; Goodwin, W. Jarrard.

In: Journal of Supportive Oncology, Vol. 10, No. 3, 01.05.2012, p. 119-123.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Penedo, Frank J. ; Traeger, Lara ; Benedict, Catherine ; Thomas, Giovana ; Dahn, Jason R. ; Krause, Madeline Hernandez ; Goodwin, W. Jarrard. / Perceived Social Support as a Predictor of Disease-Specific Quality of Life in Head-and-Neck Cancer Patients. In: Journal of Supportive Oncology. 2012 ; Vol. 10, No. 3. pp. 119-123.
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