For patients with chronic myeloid leukemia treated with lifelong targeted therapies, social support is crucial for maintaining psychological well-being, a study published in the journal of Supportive Care in Cancer has shown.1

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 417 patients in treatment with lifelong molecularly targeted therapies, such as imatinib, dasatinib, and nilotinib. The average age of patients was 56 years and 59% were male.

The level of social support perceived by patients was evaluated using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and psychological well-being was assessed with the short version of the Psychological General Well-Being Index.

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After adjusting for multiple variables, results showed that a greater amount of social support was independently associated with lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Researchers found that social support was also associated with higher positive well-being, self-control, and vitality.

The study further revealed that female patients reported significantly worse outcomes in all dimensions of psychological well-being vs male patients.

Compared with the general population, depression and self-control were the 2 main impaired psychological dimensions among patients with CML treated with lifelong targeted therapies.


1. Efficace F, Breccia M, Cottone F, et al. Psychological well-being and social support in chronic myeloid leukemia patients receiving lifelong targeted therapies. Support Care Cancer. 2016 Jul 23. doi: 10.1007/s00520-016-3344-6.