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Resilience and Quality of Life: Exploring the Mediator Role of Social Support in Patients with Breast Cancer

Hailing Zhang, Qinghua Zhao, Peiye Cao, Guosheng Ren

Department of Nursing, First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5969-5979

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907730

Available online:

Published: 2017-12-17

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can provoke a series of negative emotional changes in patients, further affecting their quality of life. It has been shown that patients with higher resilience have better quality of life. Social support systems are important protective factors that are necessary for the process of resilience to occur. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the role of social support in the relationship between resilience and quality of life among Chinese patients with breast cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A demographic-disease survey, the Chinese version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale 25, Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey, and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Breast Cancer Version 3 were used to interview 98 patients with breast cancer from a teaching hospital in Chongqing, China. Data analysis was performed by descriptive statistics, independent-sample t test, one-way ANOVA, and regression analyses.
RESULTS: The mean scores of resilience, social support, and quality of life were 54.68, 61.73, and 80.74 respectively, which were in the moderate range. Participants with stronger social support had higher resilience and better quality of life. Social support played a partial mediator role in the relationship between resilience and quality of life. The mediation effect ratio was 28.0%.
CONCLUSIONS: Social support is essential for the development of resilience and the improvement of quality of life in Chinese patients with breast cancer. Health professionals should provide appropriate guidelines to help patients seek effective support and enhance their resilience to improve their quality of life after breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast Neoplasms, Quality of Life, Resilience, Psychological, Social Support