Threats to Belonging among Breast Cancer Survivors: Consequences for Mental and Physical Health
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Purpose of review
This review summarizes research linking loneliness and low perceived social support, two threats to belonging, to mental and physical health among breast cancer survivors. We also highlight similarities with research using non-cancer populations.
Loneliness and low perceived social support are common complaints among breast cancer survivors. Both loneliness and low perceived social support are linked to higher pain, depression, and fatigue, along with worse cognitive function among breast cancer survivors during survivorship. In addition, survivors perceiving lower social support have lower breast cancer-specific and all-cause survival rates relative to those perceiving more support.
Loneliness and a lack of perceived social support threaten the need to belong and thus increase risk for mental and physical health problems among breast cancer survivors. These findings mirror research examining belonging threats and health among people without a history of cancer.
KeywordsBreast cancer survivors Social support Mental and physical health problems Review
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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