• Social support, psychological and physical states among Japanese women with breast cancer

      Makabe, Reiko; Belcher, Anne E.; Hull, Margaret M. (1997)
      In Western cultures, it has been reported that social support has effects on health outcomes among women with breast cancer. However, little is known about social support and the effects on health outcomes among Japanese women with breast cancer. In addition, there are no instruments with established reliability and validity to measure social support specific to Japanese populations giving consideration to cultural differences. A cross-sectional study was designed incorporating quantitative and qualitative approaches for the purposes of: (1) testing the reliability and validity of instruments developed to measure social support with Western populations when used with Japanese women with breast cancer, (2) describing social support among Japanese women with breast cancer, (3) investigating how social support affects their psychological and physical states, and (4) exploring appropriateness of the use of instruments of social support developed in Western cultures in measuring the social support of Japanese populations. A convenience sample of 113 Japanese women with breast cancer receiving follow-up care at a cancer center in Japan participated in the study. The Japanese versions of the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire, the Interpersonal Relationship Inventory, and the 60-item General Health Questionnaire were used to obtain data. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analyses were employed. Among the 113 subjects, purposive sampling was done to include women with a variety of experience and perceptions of social support; 16 participants were interviewed by semi-structured interview questions; then, content analysis was performed. Comparison of the findings of content analysis with the results of quantitative data and with the social support instruments was performed. The results of quantitative data analysis indicated five dimensions of social support: types, amount, reciprocity, conflict, and sources. Significant correlations between social support and person factors and between social support and psychological states among Japanese women with breast cancer were identified. However, comparing the findings of content analysis with the results of quantitative data analysis demonstrated some considerations when using the translated social support instruments on Japanese women with breast cancer. Reconsiderations for theory and recommendations for practice were addressed and future research was proposed.