Psychological distress, social support, self-management ability and utilization of social resources for female patients with cancer in Oncology Outpatient Settings in Taiwan
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Oncology outpatient care centers generally subjugate patients’ psychosocial needs to their physical care requirements. Consequently, the patients’ self-management (SM) ability and utilization of social resources are essential in regulating their psychological distress (anxiety and depression). The study aims were (1) to examine the prevalence and severity of psychological distress in female cancer patients in outpatient settings in Taiwan and (2) to identify the major factors of psychological distress. Female cancer patients were recruited from oncology outpatient settings in Taiwan. Patients completed the questionnaires of anxiety, depression, social support, and utilization of social resources, and SM ability. In total, 116 patients were included. A total of 17.2% and 21.6% of the patients were at risk of anxiety and depression, respectively. Patients’ mean anxiety and depression scores were 4.2 (SD = 4.1) and 4.1 (SD = 4.0), respectively. The patients’ physical function, attendance of social support groups, degree of social support, and SM ability had a significant effect on their anxiety and depression. Patients’ anxiety was intensified by the presence of comorbidity. Health professionals in oncology outpatient care centers should assess the patients’ physical function, comorbidity, SM ability, and social support/engagement in order to reduce their psychological distress and devise appropriate follow-up interventions.
KeywordsAnxiety Depression Cancer Female Self-management Utilization of social resources
We would like to thank the patients at the medical center in northern Taiwan for their voluntary participation in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Institutional Review Board approval of Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (16MMHIS113).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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