Exploring the multidimensional benefits of breast cancer support groups

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3 Scopus citations


Utilizing a more representative sample than previous research, this study examines differences in breast cancer survivors' social, psychological, and physical quality of life by participation in breast cancer support groups. This research also explores whether all breast cancer survivors who participate in breast cancer support groups are benefiting equally. The sample includes 958 women of Eastern North Carolina (26% African American, 73% Caucasian) diagnosed with breast cancer who completed interviews concerning their experience with the disease, as well as their social, psychological, and physical well-being. Support group participation was found to have a significant positive affect on social and overall QOL; yet these affects on social QOL were found to be insignificant, and merely marginally significant concerning overall QOL when controlling for sociodemographics, other social support networks, and disease characteristics. Significant differences were found in the characteristics of participants and non-participants of breast cancer support groups and a number of these differences were found to have significant affects on QOL. These findings suggest that future research needs to investigate the relationships between participation in a breast cancer support group and measures of QOL while controlling for potential confounding factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-179
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Psychooncology
  • Quality of life
  • Social support
  • Support groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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