Objective: Few studies have examined the effect of perceived social support (PSS) on chemotherapy-related symptoms (CRS). This study examined the effect of PSS on CRS in 184 patients with breast cancer. Methods: Participants were consecutively enrolled from a tertiary general hospital in Seoul, South Korea. CRS were assessed eight times, from before the first neoadjuvant chemotherapy to six months after the end of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, with the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory. PSS was evaluated once, before the first neoadjuvant chemotherapy session, using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Two groups were formed based on MSPSS scores: the low PSS group (n = 62) and the moderate-to-high PSS group (n = 122). Linear mixed model analyses were used to compare the change in CRS severity between the two groups during chemotherapy. Results: Results indicated a significant group-by-time (low PSS or moderate-to-high PSS; 8 periods of chemotherapy) interaction for pain (p =.005), nausea (p =.033), insomnia (p <.001), distress (p =.003), dyspnea (p =.014), memory loss (p =.021), vomiting (p =.016), and numbness (p =.008) in which the moderate-to-high PSS group showed significantly lower levels of increase in those symptoms during chemotherapy. Moreover, the effect of PSS on CRS differed depending on the sources of PSS. Conclusion: Patients with moderate-to-high PSS experience less severe CRS compared with patients with low PSS during chemotherapy. The current findings indicate the potential benefits of providing social support in the management of CRS.
- Chemotherapy side effect
- Chemotherapy-related symptoms
- Perceived social support
- Social support