Purpose/Objectives: To investigate the relationship of social support and psychological and physical states among Japanese women with breast cancer and to compare the variables before and one year after breast surgery.
Design: A prospective longitudinal study.
Setting: A general hospital in northern Japan.
Sample: 61 Japanese women with breast cancer.
Methods: Measures were the Japanese versions of the Interpersonal Relationship Inventory, the General Health Questionnaire, and the Physical States Interview Form. Data were collected at four time points: before (time 1), three months after (time 2), six months after (time 3), and one year after (time 4) breast surgery.
Main Research Variables: Social support (support, reciprocity, and conflict), social support network, and psychological and physical states.
Findings: Psychological and physical states correlated significantly at all four time points. Significant correlations also were found between psychological states and support at times 2 and 4 and between psychological states and reciprocity at time 4. Repeated measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in support, reciprocity, conflict, and physical states but no significant differences in social support network or psychological states.
Conclusions: The results of the study suggest that healthcare professionals need to consider social support as an important factor when helping Japanese women adjust to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Implications for Nursing: Healthcare professionals need to provide appropriate social support for Japanese women with breast cancer not only at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer but also after breast surgery.