Relationships Between Cancer Patients’ Functioning, Psychological Distress, Perceived Social Support, and Coping Strategies Employed
1University of Cyprus, Department of Psychology, Cyprus
2Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre (BOCOC), Cyprus
Background: The study examined psychological distress and functioning, in relation to perceived social support, coping strategies employed and quality of life in cancer patients attending the outpatient department of BOCOC. Methods: One hundred and twelve cancer patients completed the HADS, FACT-G, Brief COPE, and Modified SSQ questionnaires. Findings: Quality of life positively correlated with perceived social support (p<0.05), while it negatively correlated with psychological distress (p<0.00), and some negative forms of coping. Similarly, psychological distress was found to correlate positively with dysfunctional methods of coping such as self distraction and avoidance. Interestingly, psychological distress was found to correlate negatively with perceived social support by family (p<0.05) and friends (p<0.01), but not by partners. Discussion: Although overall psychological distress levels were relatively low in this sample, findings in Cyprus reflect those of previous research conducted elsewhere. The findings, in terms of prevalence of psychosocial needs, are going to be used to design appropriate screening methods and interventions for cancer patients in Cyprus.