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The effects of individual- and network-level factors on discussion of cancer experiences: Survivors of childhood cancer in Korea

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to identify young adult Korean cancer survivors' individual- (psychological distress, stigma, sociodemographic variables, and cancer-related variables) and network-level factors (relationship type, social support type) that influence discussion of their cancer experiences. Sixty-eight survivors of childhood cancer who were recruited using snowball sampling nominated 245 individuals from their networks, including family and intimate partners (40%), and friends and acquaintances (60%), as people with whom they most frequently interacted.

Results of multilevel modeling analysis indicated that higher levels of internalized shame were a prominent individual-level factor associated with a lack of discussion of cancer experiences. Relationship type and support type at the network-level were also significant correlates of discussion of cancer experiences. Programs for reducing the survivors' shame, improving illness identity, and providing professional training for building social relationships that are intimate and in which they could exchange reciprocal support may help Korean childhood cancer survivors to openly share their cancer experiences with others in their social network and to be successful in the journey of cancer survivorship.

CITATION

Kim, M. A., Yi, J., Prince, K. C., Nagelhout, E., & Wu, Y. P. (2018). The effects of individual- and network-level factors on discussion of cancer experiences: Survivors of childhood cancer in Korea. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 36(1), pp. 31-48.

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Last Updated: 9/17/19