, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 231-245

Social Support, Intrusive Thoughts, and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

This study explores the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between cancer-related intrusive thoughts and quality of life. Sixty-four breast cancer survivors completed self-report measures of appraisal social support (the disclosure of thoughts and feelings to significant others), cancer-related intrusive thoughts, and quality of life. Controlling for demographic and treatment variables, the negative impact of cancer-related intrusive thoughts on both physical and mental quality of life measures was moderated by appraisal social support. For women with high levels of appraisal support, cancer-related intrusive thoughts had no significant relationship with quality of life. However, for women with low levels of appraisal support, the relationship between cancer-related intrusive thoughts and quality of life was significant and negative. These results suggest that appraisal social support can mitigate the impact of traumatic life events.