We’re releasing abstracts from the #YACPrime presentations held at #IPOS2019; click here for more!
Purpose: Support from peer cancer survivors can provide a unique sense of community that cannot be gained from other supportive relationships. Simply feeling connected to the young adult (YA) cancer community may promote health and wellbeing. This study examined the associations between connectedness to the YA cancer community, general social support and post-traumatic growth (PTG) in YA survivors of cancer.
Methods: The data was obtained from the YACPRIME study, a cross-Canadian survey of YA cancer survivors. Multivariate logistic regression, adjusting for relevant demographic and clinical variables, was used to examine the association between connectedness to the YA community (1-item Likert scale) and PTG (low/high), stratified by social support (low/high).
Results: The sample included 434 individuals (Mage = 34.07; SD=6.01) of which 86.9 per cent were female (n=377). Feeling connected to the YA community was reported by 71.2 per cent of YAs (n=309) and 40.6 per cent of YAs reported moderate to high PTG (n=176). YAs with low social support who are connected to the YA cancer community had 3.77 greater odds of experiencing PTG (p=0.01) than those who were not connected. YAs with moderate to high social support who are connected to the YA cancer community had 1.36 odds of experiencing PTG, but this effect was non-significant.
Conclusion and clinical implications: Connectedness to the YA cancer community is associated with greater PTG, particularly for those YAs who have lower levels of social support. Efforts to promote connection and social support among YA cancer survivors may promote better overall adjustment.