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Publication Detail
Exploring the perceived impact of social support on the health behaviours of people living with and beyond cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Miller N, Conway R, Pini S, Buck C, Gil N, Lally P, Beeken RJ, Fisher A
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
    25/07/2022
  • Journal:
    Supportive Care in Cancer
  • Status:
    Accepted
  • Print ISSN:
    0941-4355
  • Language:
    English
  • Keywords:
    Social support, Health behaviours, Living with and beyond cancer, COVID-19, Qualitative
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Abstract
Purpose: Social support facilitated healthy behaviours in people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) before the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about how social support impacted their health behaviours during the pandemic when social restrictions were imposed. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore how social support was perceived to impact the health behaviours of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic. / Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone with 24 adults living with and beyond breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. Inductive and deductive framework analysis was used to analyse the data. / Results: Five themes developed. These were (1) Companionship and accountability as motivators for physical activity, (2) Social influences on alcohol consumption, (3) Instrumental support in food practices, (4) Informational support as important for behaviour change and (5) Validation of health behaviours from immediate social networks. / Conclusion: This study described how companionship, social influence, instrumental support, informational support and validation were perceived to impact the health behaviours of people LWBC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions for people LWBC could recommend co-participation in exercise with friends and family; promote the formation of collaborative implementation intentions with family to reduce alcohol consumption; and encourage supportive communication between partners about health behaviours. These interventions would be useful during pandemics and at other times. Government policies to help support clinically extremely vulnerable groups of people LWBC during pandemics should focus on providing access to healthier foods.
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