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Cancer‐related health worries and psychological distress among older adult, long‐term cancer survivors

Cancer‐related health worries and psychological distress among older adult, long‐term cancer... While long‐term survivors (5 years+) do not face the stressors of diagnosis and treatment, they continue to face the uncertainties that survivorship brings: recurrence, other cancers, late effects of treatment, and the potential of a shortened life expectancy. This research focuses on the cancer‐related health worries of older adult, long‐term cancer survivors, the factors that predict these worries, and their link to traditional measures of psychological distress. Specifically, a model is proposed that identifies the personal (including race and gender) and illness/treatment characteristics of survivors that are significantly associated with cancer‐related health worries and their effects on anxiety and depression. Descriptive and multivariate analyses of a random sample of 321 long‐term survivors in a major cancer center tumor registry are used to address these issues. About one‐third of survivors continue to report worries about recurrence, worries about a second cancer, and worries that symptoms they experience may be from cancer. The regression analyses show that cancer‐related health worries is a significant predictor of both depression (beta=0.36) and anxiety (beta=0.21). Race is a significant predictor; being African American is related to fewer cancer‐related health worries (beta=−0.22). Having more symptoms during treatment is also a predictor of having more cancer‐related health worries (beta=0.20). The most consistent predictor of psychosocial distress is dispositional optimism/pessimism, with more optimistic individuals reporting fewer cancer‐related health worries (beta=−0.27), lower levels of both anxiety (beta=−0.16) and depression (beta=−0.23). Overall, for many older adult, long‐term survivors, the legacy of cancer continues in terms of cancer‐related health worries. In spite of these, for most survivors, their quality of life is not dramatically compromised either physically or psychologically. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psycho-Oncology Wiley

Cancer‐related health worries and psychological distress among older adult, long‐term cancer survivors

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References (36)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services
ISSN
1057-9249
eISSN
1099-1611
DOI
10.1002/pon.955
pmid
16041841
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While long‐term survivors (5 years+) do not face the stressors of diagnosis and treatment, they continue to face the uncertainties that survivorship brings: recurrence, other cancers, late effects of treatment, and the potential of a shortened life expectancy. This research focuses on the cancer‐related health worries of older adult, long‐term cancer survivors, the factors that predict these worries, and their link to traditional measures of psychological distress. Specifically, a model is proposed that identifies the personal (including race and gender) and illness/treatment characteristics of survivors that are significantly associated with cancer‐related health worries and their effects on anxiety and depression. Descriptive and multivariate analyses of a random sample of 321 long‐term survivors in a major cancer center tumor registry are used to address these issues. About one‐third of survivors continue to report worries about recurrence, worries about a second cancer, and worries that symptoms they experience may be from cancer. The regression analyses show that cancer‐related health worries is a significant predictor of both depression (beta=0.36) and anxiety (beta=0.21). Race is a significant predictor; being African American is related to fewer cancer‐related health worries (beta=−0.22). Having more symptoms during treatment is also a predictor of having more cancer‐related health worries (beta=0.20). The most consistent predictor of psychosocial distress is dispositional optimism/pessimism, with more optimistic individuals reporting fewer cancer‐related health worries (beta=−0.27), lower levels of both anxiety (beta=−0.16) and depression (beta=−0.23). Overall, for many older adult, long‐term survivors, the legacy of cancer continues in terms of cancer‐related health worries. In spite of these, for most survivors, their quality of life is not dramatically compromised either physically or psychologically. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Psycho-OncologyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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