Delays in medical presentations (patient delay) and treatments (treatment delay) in cancer patients are associated with higher morbidity and mortality rate, lower survival rate (12% lower 5-year survival rate) and the occurrence of metastasis. One of the factors affecting these delays is the levels of social support, but there is limited information regarding this association and there are contradictions in the previous studies. The aim of this study was to consider the association between social support levels on patient delay and treatment delay of symptomatic cancers in Indonesia.
This study is a cross sectional study that took place in Siloam General Hospital from July 2016 to January 2017. The samples were adult solid cancer patients. The social support levels were measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support questionnaire. The patients were classified as patient delay if the time from the first symptoms to medical presentations were more than 3 months and were classified as treatment delay if the time from diagnosis to medical treatment was more than 1 month. The bivariate analysis was done using Chi-Square or Fisher Exact.
From total 56 patients, 50 (89.3%) were female. The mean age of the patients wa 48.6 ±10.9 years. Breast cancer was the most common type of cancer (76.7%), followed by adenocarcinoma of the colon (8.9%). Low, moderate and high social support was present in 35 (62.5%), 15 (26.8%) and 6 (10.7%) patients, respectively. Patient delay and treatment delay were present in 24 (42.9%) and 21 (37.5%) patients, respectively. Low social support was associated with patient delay (p: 0.001) and treatment delay (p: 0.015).
Low social support was associated with patient and treatment delay.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Faculty of Medicine, Pelita Harapan University
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.