Prospective individual and social predictors of changes in adjustment for patients attending a regional cancer service
- First Online:
This study applied the social-cognitive processing (SCP) model to examine whether positive (social support) and negative (social constraints) aspects of the social environment influenced emotional distress, quality of life (QoL), well-being, and benefit finding after cancer.
Participants were 439 adults at a median of 66 weeks post-diagnosis and 79 % of them had completed cancer treatments. Outcome measures and predictors were assessed twice, 6 months apart, and their relationships were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regressions.
Participants reported improved physical QoL at retest. Correlations showed that better outcomes for depression, anxiety, QoL, and well-being were associated with higher social support and lower social constraints. In addition, benefit finding correlated with social support but not social constraints. After other predictors were taken into account, lower initial social constraints were modestly associated with improved mental QoL at retest. Higher social constraints scores also predicted the development of clinically significant depression and anxiety.
Results provided some support for the SCP model’s prediction that both positive and negative aspects of social environment can contribute to adjustment in people with cancer. Although several findings supported the model, a heterogeneous sample and small effect sizes indicate that replication and further study is needed.
KeywordsCancer Quality of life Psychological factors Social support Longitudinal studies
Hospital anxiety and depression scale
Medical outcomes study short form 36 items version 2
Enhancing recovery in coronary heart disease
Quality of life
Analysis of variance
- 7.Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- 10.Bozo, O., Gundogdu, E., & Buyukasik-Colak, C. (2009). The moderating role of different sources of perceived social support on the dispositional optimism-posttraumatic growth relationship in postoperative breast cancer patients. Journal of Health Psychology, 14(7), 1009–1020.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Lepore, S. J., & Ituarte, P. H. G. (1999). Optimism about cancer enhances mood by reducing negative social relations. Cancer Research, Therapy and Control, 8, 165–174.Google Scholar
- 22.Snaith, R. P., & Zigmond, A. S. (1994). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Manual. Windsor: NFER-Nelson.Google Scholar
- 24.Quality Metric Incorporated (1992, 2003). SF-36: SF-36v2 Health Survey (IQOLA SF-36v2 Standard, English (Australia), 7/03). Lincoln, RI: Health Assessment Lab, Medical Outcomes Trust and Quality Metric Incorporated.Google Scholar
- 26.International Wellbeing Group. (2006). Personal Wellbeing Index (4th ed.). Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University.Google Scholar
- 27.Antoni, M. H., Lehman, J. M., Kilbourn, K. M., Boyers, A. E., Culver, J. L., Alferi, S. M., et al. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention decreases the prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 20(1), 20–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 32.Petrocelli, J. V. (2003). Hierarchical multiple regression in counseling research: Common problems and possible remedies. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 36(1), 9–22.Google Scholar
- 34.Gordon, L. G., Ferguson, M., Chambers, S. K., & Dunn, J. (2009). Fuel, beds, meals and meds: Out-of-pocket expenses for patients with cancer in rural Queensland. Cancer Forum, 33(3), 204–210.Google Scholar
- 36.Gottlieb, B. H., & Wachala, E. D. (Writer) (2007). Cancer support groups: a critical review of empirical studies. Wiley, NY.Google Scholar