1503P - Social supports for patients with cancer in Ireland

Date 09 October 2016
Event ESMO 2016 Congress
Session Poster display
Topics Bioethics, Legal, and Economic Issues
Presenter Yasser Ged
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (6): 497-521. 10.1093/annonc/mdw390
Authors Y. Ged1, I. Ali2, O. Ayodele2, A. Linkeviciute-Koneko2, S. Nwosu2, S. Horan3, D. Barry3, C. O'Keefe4, P. Calvert2, M. O'Connor2, A. Horgan2
  • 1Medical Oncology, University Hospital Waterford, ie - Waterford/IE
  • 2Medical Oncology, University Hospital Waterford, Waterford/IE
  • 3Medical Oncology, South Tipperary General Hospital, ie - clonmel/IE
  • 4Medical Oncology, St Lukes Hospital, ie - Kilkenny/IE



A sizable but controversial literature describes a direct relationship between high levels of social support and improved clinical outcomes in cancer patients. There is, however, limited data on social supports/networks among pts with cancer in Ireland.


Pts with a cancer diagnosis on active treatment or in follow-up in the South East Cancer Centre in Ireland were eligible. Pts completed a questionnaire which included: demographics, social networks measurement using the Berkman-Syme Social Networks Index (SNI) classifying pts into 4 categories (1 to 4), instrumental support using the tangible support component of the Medial Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (MOS-SS) and informational/online support incorporating questions on the availability and ability to use a computer with internet access, the use of the internet to seek cancer information/link with other patients. Subgroups studied included gender and age (≥70 and


188/237 pts completed the questionnaire (response rate 79%) with the following characteristics : female (n= 125, 67%), age ≥70 yrs ( n = 73, 39%). The commonest cancer was breast (n = 61, 38%) and 35% had education beyond second level. SNI was evaluable in 187 pts of whom 34 (18%) were socially isolated (SNI category 1). Men were more likely to have low social networks (SNI 


Social isolation in this population was high at 18%, more commonly reported in male patients. While social media creates an opportunity to support isolated patients, only a third of older patients are computer/internet proficient in this population.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Anne Horgan


University Hospital Waterford,Ireland


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.