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Soc Sci Med. 1982;16(1):91-8.

The role of support in relation to recovery from breast surgery.


The relationship between support and short-term recovery from breast surgery was examined retrospectively in 151 female breast cancer patients who were 3-12 months postoperative. Subjects were interviewed regarding the extent to which 3 forms of support (social, professional, financial) were available. Two indices, representing physical recovery and psychological adjustment, were generated. Patient characteristics (age, education, prior health status, and life stress following surgery) and clinical indicators of disease severity (stage, type of mastectomy, adjunct therapy, and time elapsed since surgery) were controlled. Social and professional support were significantly positively related to psychological adjustment. Financial support was significantly positively related to physical recovery. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

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