Context: Cancer patients with minor children are increasing; however, they do not receive sufficient support. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between loneliness and the frequency of using online peer support groups among cancer patients with minor children. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted from April to May 2019. Cancer patients with minor children were recruited from an online peer support group called “Cancer Parents.” Individuals diagnosed with cancer and whose youngest children were younger than 18 years were enrolled. Materials included: the UCLA Loneliness Scale version 3 (UCLA-LS), K6 scale, abbreviated Lubben Social Network Scale, and the sociodemographic/clinical characteristics questionnaire. Multivariate logistics regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with the high loneliness group (defined as those above the median score on the UCLA-LS). Results: A total of 334 patients participated (79.9% female; mean age 43.1 years, standard deviation 5.8). The most common primary cancer type was breast (34.1%). The median score of the UCLA-LS was 45 (interquartile range 37–53). The multivariate logistics regression analysis revealed that the high loneliness group was significantly associated with the frequent use of online peer support group less than once a week (odds ratio [OR] = 0.47; 95% CI = 0.26–0.85; P = 0.012), with a smaller social network (OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.73–0.83; P < 0.001), and higher psychological distress (OR = 1.16; 95% CI = 1.09–1.23; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Frequent use of online peer support groups was associated with less loneliness among cancer patients with minor children.
- peer support
- young adult
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine