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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 157-169

The effectiveness of support groups in Asian breast cancer patients: An integrative review


1 School of Nursing, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA
2 Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR, USA

Correspondence Address:
Fang-Yu Chou
Associate Professor, School of Nursing BH358, San Francisco State University
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-5625.162826

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Cancer support group has been studied as an intervention to improve patient psychosocial well-being. The effectiveness of support groups among Asian breast cancer (BC) patients has been unclear and received limited attention to the evidence of its effectiveness. The social-cognitive processing theory underlies the principles of support groups and advocates that a positive, supportive social environment can improve cognitive processing. The purpose of this paper is to present an integrative review of research evidence on the effectiveness of cancer support groups with Asian BC patients. Empirical studies related to support group among Asian and Asian American BC patients published between 1982 and April 2014 are reviewed. There are 15 studies selected (12 from the Asian-Pacific region and 3 from Western countries). The review includes 1 qualitative study, 3 descriptive studies, 1 mixed method design, and 10 experimental or quasi-experimental studies. The support group intervention activities include psycho-educational program such as health education, problem-solving, and stress management. These studies support the effectiveness of support group in alleviating psychological distress and supporting quality of life of Asian BC women. Overall, there is limited research on the use and effectiveness of support groups with Asians cancer patients in Asia and in Western countries. Without accounting for Asian immigrants overseas, the Asian population is expected to grow from 4.3 to 5.3 billion by 2050. As cancer patients become more diverse due to global emigration, more rigorous studies examining the effectiveness of psychosocial intervention among transcultural cancer patients are needed.


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