Perceived stress mediates the effects of social support on health-related quality of life among men treated for localized prostate cancer

Eric S. Zhou, Frank J. Penedo*, John E. Lewis, Mikal Rasheed, Lara Traeger, Suzanne Lechner, Mark Soloway, Bruce R. Kava, Michael H. Antoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the longitudinal effect of social support on general health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in men treated for localized prostate cancer, and to evaluate the role of perceived stress as a potential mediator of that relationship, in an ethnically and demographically diverse sample. Methods: Psychosocial assessments were administered to a sample of 175 men at baseline, and 2 years later. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relationships between social support, perceived stress and HRQOL, while controlling for possible covariates that may affect HRQOL (e.g., age, time since diagnosis, medical comorbidities, etc.). Results: Higher levels of social support at baseline predicted higher levels of HRQOL at 2-year follow-up after controlling for relevant covariates and baseline levels of HRQOL. This relationship was partially mediated by level of perceived stress at baseline. Furthermore, men perceiving high levels of social support reported significantly higher HRQOL compared with men perceiving low levels of social support. Conclusions: Results indicate positive social relationships contribute to improved HRQOL in patients who have undergone treatment for localized prostate cancer. One pathway through which social support can benefit HRQOL is through lower perceptions of stress. Enhancing or maintaining social support and reducing perceived stress may be potential targets for future psychosocial interventions aimed at improving HRQOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-590
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Perceived stress
  • Prostate cancer
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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