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This study was conducted with the aim of determining the relationship between social support and coping strategies in cancer patients and that between the sociodemographic and medical properties of patients. One hundred forty-eight cancer patients admitted to an oncology and hematology clinic in Erzurum were studied. The data were collected using a questionnaire that determines sociodemographic features: the Ways of Coping Inventory and the Perceived Social Support From Family Scale. Among the coping strategies, patients were found to use unconfident approach (emotion focused) (16.8 +/- 5.5) the most and seeking social support (problem focused) (8.3 +/- 2.6) the least. Mean +/- SD score for perceived social support from the family was 15.9 +/- 2.7. Significant correlations were found among social support and coping strategies. We found a negative correlation between social support and emotion-focused coping strategies (unconfident approach and submissive approach). As the social support scores increased, scores regarding emotion-focused coping strategies decreased. On the other hand, there was a positive correlation between social support and problem-focused coping strategies (confident approach, optimistic approach, and seeking social support); that is, mean social support scores increased as the mean problem-focused coping strategy scores increased. This result implies that families have important roles for patients and should be educated and supported by healthcare professionals in approaching patients in a knowing way. In addition to the results, this study could be used to help develop nursing interventions and efficient coping strategies. Patients may then be able to use the latter to solve symptom-associated distresses, consequently enhancing their quality of life.
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