Prospective predictors of psychosocial support service use after cancer

Michelle E. McDowell, Stefano Occhipinti, Megan Ferguson, Suzanne K. Chambers

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To identify prospective predictors of psychosocial support service utilisation by people with cancer. Consistent with the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), attitudes towards help seeking and behavioural intentions were predicted to lead to greater support service utilisation. Methods: A heterogeneous sample of cancer patients from a regional cancer treatment centre in Australia completed a prospective survey (n=439 at recruitment, 61.2% response rate; n=396 at follow-up) examining the utilisation of psychosocial support services. Demographic variables (age and gender), social support, social constraints, cancer specific distress, and positive and negative attitudes towards help seeking were examined as prospective predictors of support service use. Further, a series of regression analyses explored mediation of the relationship between attitudes to seeking help and support service use by behavioural intentions. Results: Approximately 14% of cancer patients reported using a psychosocial support service in the 6 months following the time of the first study. Females and patients with more positive attitudes towards help seeking were more likely to have utilised a support service in the 6 months following recruitment. The relationship between positive attitudes to seeking help and psychosocial support service use was mediated by behavioural intentions. Conclusions: The TPB appears to have utility in explaining in part use of psychosocial help services. Future studies should include contextual factors in the model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-791
Number of pages4
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • cancer
  • oncology
  • psychosocial
  • support service

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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