Gauging the Effects of Self-efficacy, Social Support, and Coping Style on Self-management Behaviors in Chinese Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

Background

Better self-management control in cancer survivors would benefit their functional status, quality of life, and health service utilization. Factors such as self-efficacy, social support, and coping style are important predictors of self-management behaviors of cancer survivors; however, the impact of these factors on self-management behaviors has not yet been empirically tested in Chinese cancer survivors.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to examine how self-efficacy, social support, and coping style affect specific self-management behaviors.

Methods

A secondary data analysis was completed from a cross-sectional study. A total of 764 cancer survivors were recruited in the study. Validated instruments were used to assess patients' self-efficacy, social support, and coping style. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesis.

Results

The SEM model fits the data very well, with root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) of 0.034; close-fit test cannot reject the hypothesis of root mean square error of approximation of 0.05 or less, comparative fit index of 0.91, Tucker-Lewis index of 0.90, and weighted root mean square residual of 0.82. For the measurement models in the SEM, all items loaded highly on their underlying first-order factors, and the first-order factors loaded highly on their underlying second-order factors (self-efficacy and social support, respectively). The model demonstrated that self-efficacy and social support directly and indirectly, via coping style, affect 3 self-management behaviors (ie, communication, exercise, and information seeking).

Conclusion

Our results provide evidence that self-efficacy and social support impose significant direct effects, as well as indirect effects via copying style, on the self-management of cancer survivors.

Implications for Practice

Our findings may help nurses to further improve their care of cancer survivors in terms of their self-management behaviors, specifically communication, exercise, and information seeking.

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