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Japanese Cancer Survivors’ Awareness of and Participation in Support Groups.

Japanese Cancer Survivors’ Awareness of and Participation in Support Groups.
Author Information (click to view)

Hatano Y, Mitsuki S, Hosokawa T, Fukui K,


Hatano Y, Mitsuki S, Hosokawa T, Fukui K, (click to view)

Hatano Y, Mitsuki S, Hosokawa T, Fukui K,

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Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education 2017 02 06() doi 10.1007/s13187-017-1177-8
Abstract

Cancer survivors face many challenges, and cancer support groups provide a range of support. Several reports have shown the benefits of support groups. However, it is not clear how Japanese cancer survivors use them. This study aimed to examine cancer survivors’ awareness of and reasons for participation or non-participation in cancer support groups. We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire survey with ambulatory patients with cancer across eight designated cancer hospitals. The questionnaire covered patients’ demographics, disease characteristics, participation/non-participation in cancer support groups, and reasons for participation/non-participation. In total, 569 questionnaires were distributed, and responses were received from 275 patients with cancer. Of these, 135 patients were aware of support groups and 23 had participated in a group. Patients who were aware of support groups were more likely to be young, female patients. Many patients learned about support groups from hospital notices. Most support group participants expected to receive information about the disease and treatment (91%). They also wanted to hear about other patients’ experiences (73%). The most common reasons for non-participation were "no particular reason" (38%) and "family or friends support me" (27%). About half of participating patients were unaware of support groups. Even among patients who were aware, many did not attend a support group. Developing a better understanding of support group use in cancer survivors may enhance provision of adequate care based on individual needs.

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