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Oral Oncol. 2010 May;46(5):360-5. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2010.02.009. Epub 2010 Apr 3.

An investigation of the correlates of sense of coherence in a sample of Brazilians with head and neck cancer.

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Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, 3640 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B2.


The aim of this study was to investigate the correlates of Sense of Coherence (SOC) in Head and Neck (H&N) cancer patients during the initial months following their diagnosis. A sample of 162 subjects with newly diagnosed H&N cancer was recruited from a Brazilian hospital. SOC was evaluated using a validated instrument, and these data plus socio-demographic, behavioural and clinical data were collected using interviews. Correlates of SOC in the sample were analysed using multiple linear regression. The mean SOC score was 63.8 and the mean age was 57.7 years. Most of the subjects were male, had a partner and had low levels of education. The cancers were mainly in the oral cavity and diagnosed at a late stage. Analyses demonstrated that subjects who were men, who had a partner, who were working and those with an opportunity to talk openly had higher (i.e. stronger) SOC. No statistically significant association was observed between SOC and clinical variables or tobacco and alcohol consumption. These results suggest an association between SOC and socio-demographic and psychosocial covariates only in this sample of Brazilian H&N cancer patients.

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