Background. Cancer survivors with good social support are generally more motivated to undertake self-management behaviors and make lifestyle changes. However, the impact of changes in social support over time, from pre-diagnosis, through treatment and into survivorship, on the health and recovery of cancer survivors with a range of cancer diagnoses has not been explored.
Objectives. To examine how temporal changes in social support offered to cancer survivors by family and friends influences their engagement with self-management practices and adaptation to lifestyle changes.
Methods. The interview study took place in a teaching hospital in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. Forty participants were purposively sampled. A narrative approach to data collection was chosen and data were thematically analyzed.
Results. Six typologies of restructuring relationships post-cancer were identified. A greater understanding of the changes to social relationships that a cancer diagnosis can incur and the impact of this on people's outlook and ability to self-manage was developed.
Conclusions. The restructuring of social relationships by cancer survivors over time can impact their outlook and ability to self-manage in survivorship, shaping their engagement with health promoting activities and reconciling cancer within the wider context of their lives.
Implications for Practice. Appropriate clinical nursing processes and tailored interventions are required to support cancer survivors and promote engagement with self-management practices. Nurses are a vital component of the social support that enables patients to make the best health and lifestyle choices available to them.
Henshall, Catherine L.Greenfield, Sheila M.Gale, Nicola K.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Nursing
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-07-05
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