Socio-demographic, psychosocial and attitudinal predictors of help seeking after cancer diagnosis
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Objective: The objective is to describe cancer patients' patterns of use of psychosocial support services and identify socio-demographic, psychosocial, and attitudinal predictors of service utilization. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 439 cancer patients (61.2% response) at a regional tertiary cancer center assessed patterns of support service utilization, cancer-specific distress, social support and constraints, and attitudes to help seeking. Results: Patients less frequently received advice about psychosocial support in comparison with treatment-related information. More than half the respondents were aware of social work support, support groups, and chaplain support; however, most did not utilize these services. For unaware patients, up to 47% would have utilized support services if they had known of their existence. The use of services was significantly related to being female, younger, and having greater cancer-specific distress, more positive and less negative attitudes to help seeking. Future intention to contact a health professional for psychological support was predicted by more positive subjective norms and outcome expectations, higher cancer-specific distress, and less negative attitudes to help seeking. Conclusion: Initiatives that encourage distressed patients to use psychosocial care services should highlight positive outcomes. Educational programs for health professionals to support psychosocial care in oncology are needed. Copyright 頲008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Psycho-Oncology: journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer
Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified