functional social support and major depression in cancer patients. Article review: Functional Social Support and Major Depression in Cancer Patients Despite the advancement oftechnology in the healthcare arena, cancer remains a deadly condition through which lives are lost each year. Sadly, many people living with cancer suffer from other illnesses and conditions which subsequently complicate their health. In the article, it is evident that depression is one of the major conditions that cancer patients face. As noted, 38% of these grapple with depression, and they need support (Chan, Limoges and Fung p.46). The article highlights three sources from which cancer patients could derive this support. First, family members are needed in comforting the patients, structural social support (SSS) comes mainly from the society. Functional social support (FSS) is needed, and it entails more of emotional assistance
The article highlights the findings that were observed after an undertaking that sought to show the impact of each of these support methods. It was noted that there was no discrepancy in the way both genders perceived the impact of FSS. In the same study, the researchers sought to analyze the impact of social support in relation to major depression by age. In the study, younger patients from the age of 18 to 54 were included in the study. It was observed that the FSS full scale was negative and had significant relation to MD among the younger and the older population (Chan et al p.48).
The studies proved that some approaches prove vital for patients suffering from various conditions including cancer. However, for people who suffer from physical illnesses, some support systems proved to have little impact (Chan et al p.49). Notwithstanding this discovery, the study also showed that perception is imperative in aiding the patients. For instance, the Social Support could be beneficial to the patients if their perception is backed up by others in the society. Also, the impact often depends on the gender with evidence from the study showing male patients do not necessarily need the FSS and the AFF. In short, the study showed that the relation between the clinical depression and the SS is mainly moderated by a source or support, gender and the type of FSS employed.
Nonetheless, the study comprehensively observed that, “the provision of social support can lead to a reduction in depressed mood in the following day” (Chan et al p.49). That is to say that whilst not every sickness can be remedied through the said interventions, offer support to these patients has significant impact on their psychological condition. Normally, when patients are left alone, there is an accumulation of negative thoughts which escalate the depression levels. When a patient keeps thinking about their survival period, the depression could be exacerbated, and this where support plays a critical role. Additionally, the stage of the illness could elicit the patient’s negative emotions especially when it is at an advanced stage.
In conclusion, cancer patients grapple with insurmountable amount of psychological discomfort. When this situation is not remedied by support from the people who matter most, the family, the repercussions could be dire. This support is not solely meant to emanate from the family members, but also the larger society at large. The FSS is vitally important as it helps the patients with the coping of emotional instability, which occurs pretty often. When a patient is reminded or simply remembers the stage of the cancer or the survival period, their emotions escalate. To prevent the depression, which tends to occur constantly, social support is imperative.
Chan, Eric K. H., Kendice M. Limoges, and Tak S. Fung. Functional Social Support and
Major Depression In Cancer Patients University Of Calgary. Psychology Journal 7.2 (2010): 46-50. Print.