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The Effects of Sense of Coherence, Demands of Illness, and Social Support on Quality of Life After Surgery in Patients With Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer

Michiyo Mizuno
Miho Kakuta
Yumiko Inoue
ONF 2009, 36(3), E144-E152 DOI: 10.1188/09.ONF.E144-E152

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the relationship between quality of life (QOL) as an index of adaptation status and concepts related to self-care skills of patients who have been diagnosed with and undergone surgery for digestive system cancer: sense of coherence (SOC), social support, demands of illness, and the thought "Why me?"

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: General hospitals in Japan.

Sample: 60 patients who had been newly diagnosed with digestive system cancer and had undergone surgery.

Methods: Questionnaires were distributed to participants whose discharge date had been determined. The questionnaires were returned through the mail within two weeks of the discharge date.

Main Research Variables: QOL, SOC, social support, demands of illness, and the thought "Why me?"

Findings: QOL was strongly correlated with SOC and the demands of illness and was moderately correlated with social support. The only variable that was negatively correlated with SOC was the question, "Why me?" SOC and demands of illness accounted for 54% of the variance in QOL; social support was not a significant factor.

Conclusions: This study suggests that SOC is positively correlated with QOL and the demands of illness are negatively correlated with QOL among study participants.

Implications for Nursing: Nursing interventions focusing on SOC and illness demands may have a significant effect on QOL of patients following cancer surgery.

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