Published Papers - Abstract 879

Leung J, Smith MD & McLaughlin D. Inequalities in long term health-related quality of life between partnered and not partnered breast cancer survivors through the mediation effect of social support. Psychooncology, 2016; 25(10): 1222-1228

Objective: To compare long-term quality of life outcomes by marital status among women living with breast cancer, and to test the mediation effects of social support as an underlying factor.Methods: Data are drawn from 1996 to 2010 of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. The sample included 505 women with breast cancer with six years of follow-up data. Social support was measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS). Physical and mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was measured using the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).Results: Breast cancer survivors who did not have a partner, compared to those who had a partner, had significantly lower levels of social support, which was associated with poorer HRQOL. Social support mediated the relationship between not having a partner and poorer HRQOL. Results were consistent after taken into consideration socio-demographic characteristics, which included age, highest level of education, country of birth, and area of residence.Conclusions: Women recovering from breast cancer who do not have partners have poorer physical and mental HRQOL, than those with partners, with a lack of social support as an underlying inequality. Partners of breast cancer survivors are importance sources in the provision of social support to help them maintain well-being and quality of life.

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