, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 79-90
Date: 12 Feb 2010

Direct and Buffering Effects of Social Support Among Gynecologic Cancer Survivors

Abstract

Background

There are few studies of QoL among long-term gynecologic cancer survivors; available data suggest significant sequelae of disease and treatment. Research clarifying circumstances that improve difficult survivorship trajectories is lacking.

Purpose

The present study examines whether social support moderates the relationship between physical functioning and psychological outcomes by testing the stress-buffering hypothesis.

Methods

Participants (N = 260) were gynecologic cancer survivors (cervical, n = 47; endometrial, n = 133; ovarian, n = 69; vulvar, n = 11). Compromised physical health was conceptualized as multidimensional. Social support (SNI, PSS-Fa, PSS-Fr, ISEL) was tested as a buffer of adverse psychological outcomes (IES-R, CES-D).

Results

Results for traumatic stress provided evidence for buffering; whereas social support was of general benefit for depressive symptoms. Effects varied by source and type of support.

Conclusions

These results suggest that circumstances for gynecologic cancer survivors burdened with physical symptoms may be worse for those with fewer support resources, providing needed insight into a common target of psychosocial interventions for cancer survivors.