Comparison of social support perceptions of caregivers of cancer and dementia patients

Yorulmaz, Elçin
Çıvgın, Umut
Bozo Özen, Özlem
Cancer and dementia are two of those diseases that require care. Caring for the patients with such diseases is challenging for caregivers and is associated with many psychological health outcomes (e.g. Coope et al., 1995; Vanderwerker et al., 2005). Of all caregivers, the ones giving care to dementia patients were found to be affected more negatively than others by the caregiving process (Pinquart & Sörensen, 2003). Thus, it seems to be important to examine the underlying factors of this difference. Perception of social support, which is one of the protective factors in terms of psychological health, might be one of those factors responsible for the difference mentioned above. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare social support perceptions of dementia and cancer caregivers. 210 caregivers, 99 of whom were caring for dementia patients and 111 of them were giving care to cancer patients, participated in the study. Participants completed demographic information form and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Independent samples t-test was used for the analysis of the study. Caregivers of dementia patients and caregivers of cancer patients did not differ in terms of their perceptions of social support. When social support perceived from different sources were examined, significant differences were found between two groups. Caregivers of dementia patients perceived higher support than caregivers of cancer patients from their families and friends, while caregivers of cancer patients perceived more support from significant others. Since the caregiving process has detrimental effects on caregivers, it is important to determine the factors that may protect these individuals from negative psychological outcomes. For this aim, the levels of perceived social support of the cancer and dementia caregivers were compared. While participants did not differ in terms of their total perceived social support scores, they did differ on their scores of perceived social support from different sources. It can be suggested that less support perceived from significant others might put the caregivers of dementia patients into the risk of negative psychological outcomes.


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Citation Formats
E. Yorulmaz, U. Çıvgın, and Ö. Bozo Özen, “Comparison of social support perceptions of caregivers of cancer and dementia patients,” 2019, p. 948, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: