Social support as a moderator between the perception of the disease and stress level in lung cancer patients
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John Paul II Catholic University, Lublin, Poland
Piotr Mamcarz   

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Many studies attempt to explain the relationship between living in highly industrialized societies and the development of various diseases among people. Nowadays, the incidence of lung cancer is increasing worldwide. This is a highly stressful situation, both psychologically and physically. The study investigates the variable of social support and its moderating role between stress level and the perception of the disease among patients diagnosed with lung cancer.

The aim of the study was to verify the hypothesis that there is a correlation between the subjective appraisal of one’s disease and the level of stress, as well as the hypothesis that social support is a moderator between the perception of the disease and stress level in patients diagnosed with lung cancer.

Material and methods:
The study involved 97 respondents diagnosed with lung cancer – 50 men and 47 women. The following methods were used for the study: the Disease-Related Appraisals Scale, the Disease-Related Social Support Scale, and the Perceived Stress Scale. Socio-demographic data were also collected.

The results show that informational support may increase the level of perceived stress in lung cancer patients. It can be concluded that social support fulfils its moderating function in forming a stress response to cancer. A statistically significant moderating effect was observed of social support on the relationship between the appraisal of one’s disease as harmful and the stress level.

The research findings demonstrate that social support plays a substantial role. It is important to diagnose the individual specific needs of lung cancer patients concerning the support they need.

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