personality and cancer

personality and cancer - Health Psychology 2005, Vol. 24,...

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Optimistic Personality and Psychosocial Well-Being During Treatment Predict Psychosocial Well-Being Among Long-Term Survivors of Breast Cancer Charles S. Carver, Roselyn G. Smith, Michael H. Antoni, Vida M. Petronis, and Sharlene Weiss University of Miami Robert P. Derhagopian South Miami, Florida In considering well-being among survivors of life-threatening illnesses such as breast cancer, 2 important questions are whether there is continuity between initial adjustment and longer term adjustment and what role personality plays in long-term adjustment. In this research, a sample of 163 early stage breast cancer patients whose psychosocial adjustment was first assessed during the year after surgery completed the same measures 5–13 years after surgery. Initial reports of well-being were relatively strong predictors of follow-up well-being on the same measures. Initial optimism and marital status also predicted follow-up adjustment, even controlling for earlier adjustment, which exerted a substantial unique effect in multi- variate analyses. In contrast, initial medical variables played virtually no predictive role. There is substantial continuity of subjective well-being across many years among survivors of breast cancer, rooted partly in personality and social connection. Keywords: breast cancer, quality of life, personality, optimism, long-term survivors What factors influence adjustment among persons who have been treated for cancer? One well-studied group of cancer patients is women with breast cancer (e.g., Psychological Aspects of Breast Cancer Study Group, 1987), among whom a number of risk and resilience factors have been identified (Glanz & Lerman, 1992; Irvine, Brown, Crooks, Roberts, & Browne, 1991; Moyer & Salovey, 1996). Factors that have been examined include coping reactions (e.g., Ben-Zur, Gilbar, & Lev, 2001; Carver et al., 1993), social support (Bloom & Spiegel, 1984; Helgeson & Cohen, 1996), sexual self-schemas (Andersen & Cyranowski, 1994; Yurek, Far- rar, & Andersen, 2000), personality qualities such as optimism (Carver et al., 1993, 1994; Epping-Jordan et al., 1999; Stanton & Snider, 1993), and medical factors such as stage of disease and extent of surgery (Glanz & Lerman, 1992; Irvine et al., 1991; Moyer & Salovey, 1996). Much of that literature deals with the year after diagnosis. Recent work, however, has begun to turn to long-term cancer survivorship (Bloom, 2002; Deimling, Kahana, Bowman, & Schaefer, 2002; Ferrell, Dow, Leigh, Ly, & Gulasekaram, 1995; Ganz et al., 2002; Ganz, Rowland, Desmond, Meyerowitz, & Wyatt, 1998; Gotay & Muraoka, 1998; Schag, Ganz, Wing, Sim, & Lee, 1994). No longer is it assumed that following treatment, cancer patients simply resume life where they left off. Questions are being raised about whether treatment—even successful treat- ment—leaves psychological as well as physical scars (Bloom, 2002; Ganz et al., 1998, 2002; Gotay & Muraoka, 1998; Tomich & Helgeson, 2002).
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2011 for the course PSYCH 212 taught by Professor Dansullivan during the Spring '11 term at NYU.

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personality and cancer - Health Psychology 2005, Vol. 24,...

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