Japanese journal of clinical oncology 2017 05 02() 1-6 doi 10.1093/jjco/hyx058
This study aimed to investigate the use of psychosocial support services, the intention to use these services, and to elucidate the characteristics of survivors most likely to use support services among Japanese breast cancer survivors.
We invited breast cancer survivors to complete an online questionnaire via an email sent to subscribers of a non-profit organization mailing list. We asked participants questions related to demographics, opinions on the state of psychosocial support services, and their interest in using these services. Participants were also asked to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Brief Cancer Worry Inventory (BCWI).
We analyzed the data of 171 participants. Those who used some form of psychosocial support service constituted 50.9% of the participant population. Participants used cancer consulting and support center services (13.5%), hospital and non-hospital support groups (12.9%, respectively), psychiatry (11.1%), hospital and non-hospital cancer salons (8.8%, respectively), psychosomatic medicine (8.2%), therapist counseling (6.4%) and psycho-oncology department services (4.1%). Non-users who suffered from adjustment disorders or major depression (52.1%) reported higher total BCWI and the subscale scores had no concrete plans to use psychosocial support services.
The usage levels of psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and psycho-oncology services in our study were higher than those reported in any previous Japanese study within the psycho-oncology field. Participants joining a breast cancer survivors’ mailing list, or their being female, may have led to a higher use of such services. A high degree of distress does not necessarily lead cancer survivors to seek psychosocial support services.