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Quality of Life, Social Support, and Uncertainty Among Latina Breast Cancer Survivors

Angela Sammarco
Lynda M. Konecny
ONF 2008, 35(5), 844-849 DOI: 10.1188/08.ONF.844-849

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the relationship between perceived social support, uncertainty, and their individual and combined effects on quality of life (QOL) among Latina breast cancer survivors.

Design: Descriptive, correlational study.

Setting: Selected private hospitals in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan and the American Cancer Society units of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, New York.

Sample: 89 Latina breast cancer survivors ages 30-86 years.

Methods: Participants completed a personal data sheet, the Social Support Questionnaire, the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale-Community form, and the Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index-Cancer Version III at home and returned the questionnaires to the investigators via postage-paid envelope.

Main Research Variables: Perceived social support, uncertainty, and QOL.

Findings: A significant positive correlation was noted between perceived social support and total QOL. A significant negative correlation was found between uncertainty and QOL. Social support predicted 15.1% of QOL variance, and uncertainty predicted 10.4% of additional QOL variance. Together, these two variables predicted 20.5% of QOL variance.

Conclusions: Perceived social support and uncertainty play a pivotal role in managing or maintaining QOL in Latina breast cancer survivors.

Implications for Nursing: Social support, uncertainty, and QOL are essential variables that should be acknowledged when delivering health care to Latina breast cancer survivors. Nurses cognizant of Latina breast cancer survivors' issues and concerns in areas of social support and uncertainty are in a unique position to enhance QOL.

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