Social support for patients with penile cancer: A mixed-method study

Eeva Harju, Minna Törnävä, Hanna Vasarainen, Tomi Pakarainen, Mika Helminen, Ilkka Perttilä, Kaipia Antti

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu


The research questions were as follows: How much social support do patients with penile cancer (PC) receive after surgical treatment for the condition; which factors are associated with the social support received; and how do patients with PC describe the social support they receive in terms of emotional support, affirmation and concrete aid? The purpose of this study is to describe the amount and type of social support (that is, emotional support, affirmation or concrete aid) received by patients with PC. In addition, it describes the associations between patients' background variables and their perceived social support. Men affected by PC experience a range of unmet support care needs, of which social support has not previously been thoroughly studied. Emotional support consists of caring for another person, respecting and creating a safe atmosphere for them and providing spiritual support. Affirmation is the reinforcement of knowledge and is especially evident in decision-making processes through advising or counselling. Concrete aid means the provision of assistance in the form of an activity or service that causes the donor to use time or money for the benefit of another person. A partially mixed concurrent dominant status design was used and included semi-structured interviews with, or letter responses from, 15 patients and a self-reported social support score survey of 42 patients with PC. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, a non-parametric test and a deductive content analysis. Regarding the self-reported social support score survey, 42 patients reported the social support as good (mean [SD]; range 4.34 [1.06]; 1–6). The most frequent form of social support was affirmation (mean [SD] 4.65 [1.07]), and the least frequent was emotional support (mean [SD] 4.14 [1.16]). Employment status and primary operation were significantly associated with the social support received. Qualitative data imply that family members are the most important emotional supporters. Emotional support from healthcare professionals was felt to be insufficient. Despite their affirmation, patients felt they received incomplete information about the disease. Patients received concrete aid from family members but felt there was a lack of professional help. Although patients deemed the overall social support received to be good, they received insufficient support from healthcare professionals (emotional support) and had unmet informational needs (affirmation) as well as uncertainties regarding income support (concrete aid). Our results can help nurses provide more holistic care to patients with PC. This information can be utilized in the development of nursing interventions for such patients and their family members. In the future, nurses' and other healthcare professionals' counselling skills should be taken into account in their training. They also need to be supported through consultation and referral resources when they reach the limits of their expertise.

Varhainen verkossa julkaisun päivämäärähelmik. 2023
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


  • Jufo-taso 1

!!ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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