Relationship Between Perceived Self-efficacy, Social Support, and Self-care Behavior of Patients with The Head and Neck Cancer Receiving Radiotherapy*

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Angkrit Meejak
Manirat Therawiwat
Nirut Imamee
Acharaporn Seeherunwong


This study is descriptive research aiming to assess the relationship between perceived self-efficacy to
perform self-care behavior, receiving social support, and self-care behaviors of patients with cancer of the
head and neck who received radiotherapy. The sample comprised 150 new patients who were diagnosed with
cancer of the head and neck who received only radiotherapy at Siriraj Hospital. The research instrument used
was an interview schedule developed by the researcher and has been checked for its content validity by
experts. The reliability of the instrument was found at a level that was acceptable. The data were collected by
interviewing the sample patients individually. The data were analyzed by computing statistics in regard to
percentages, arithmetic mean, standard deviation, the Chi-square test and Pearson’s Product Moment
Correlation Coefficient.
The research results showed that a high percentage of the sample were males (85.3%) while 14.7
percent were females. About half of the samples were between the ages of 41-60 years old. Most of them were
married (76.0%) and 79.3 percent resided in up-country areas. There were 55.3 percent of the samples that
had a ‘moderate’ level of perceived self-efficacy in self-care during receiving radiotherapy; almost all of them
received a ‘high’ level of social support (94.0%). Most of the samples had a ‘high’ level of each kind of self-care
behavior in regard to caring for the skin area that received radiotherapy (92.0%), oral and dental hygiene
(74.7%), consumption of food and water (80.7%), rest and sleep (70.0%), and muscle exercise in the area that
received radiation (53.3%). A significant relationship was found to have a significantly positive relationship at a
‘high’ level between perceived self-efficacy and self-care behaviors (r=0.955) (p-value <0.001). However,
social support was not found to have a relationship with self-care behaviors of the patients with cancer of the
head and neck who received radiation (p>0.05).
The recommendations are that the related hospitals and organizations should provide services for
promoting self-care behaviors of the cancer patients who received radiotherapy. In regard to exercising the
muscles that received radiation, it is recommended to have relatives or caretakers participate in the learning
process in order to provide care and support to the patients.

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