Social Support and Hopelessness in Turkish Patients With Cancer

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This study was conducted with the purpose of determining the relationship between social support and hopelessness in cancer patients, and the relationship of these two with the sociodemographic and medical properties of the patients. Hundred cancer patients admitted to the oncology and hematology clinic in Erzurum were studied. The data were collated using a questionnaire determining the sociodemographic features, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Perceived Social Support From Family Scale. While the mean total social support score of patients was 16.5 ± 2.5, their mean hopelessness score was 6.5 ± 3.6. There was a negative correlation between social support and hopelessness. Hopelessness of the patients was reduced with increasing social support. No significant relationship was found between the sociodemographic and medical states of the patients and their social support and hopelessness. This result reveals that the families have important roles with the patients and should be educated and supported by healthcare professionals in approaching the patient wisely. Besides, we propose that the factors affecting the emotional states of patients in this group should be determined with comprehensive studies. Assessing the patients' level of social support may help identify patients at risk for distress.

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