Exploring the relationship between coping, social support and health-related quality of life for prostate cancer survivors

A review of the literature

Catherine Paterson, Martyn Jones, Janice Rattray, William Lauder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

33 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Men affected by prostate cancer can experience profound physical and psychological sequalae; and unmet support needs are prevalent in men affected by this disease. Social support has been linked to improved health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and coping strategies, but little is known about the relationship between social support, coping and HRQoL for prostate cancer survivors. This review aims to identify the mechanism through which social support influences the relationship between coping and HRQoL for prostate cancer survivors. Methods: A literature review was conducted from the earliest date available to January 2013. Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and ASSIA databases were searched using terms relevant to coping, social support and prostate cancer. Studies that explored the relationship between coping, social support and HRQoL were included. Results: 175 studies were assessed for potential inclusion with 11 publications included in this review. Studies predominately reported main effects of perceived social support on HRQoL, and few studies assessed moderation and mediation effects of coping and social support on HRQoL. Perceived social support was frequently assessed, but few studies evaluated the effects of received social support or satisfaction with social support on HRQoL. Conclusions: The evidence base is under-developed at present. Future research should use a multidimensional inventory of the social support constructs to examine how each of the constructs influences the relationship between coping and HRQoL over time. This may facilitate the development of appropriately targeted social support interventions that are theoretically driven to address the unmet support needs of prostate cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-759
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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