Do changes in illness perceptions predict changes in psychological distress among oesophageal cancer survivors?

Martin Dempster, Noleen K McCorry, Emma Brennan, Michael Donnelly, Liam J Murray, Brian T Johnston
Journal of Health Psychology 2011, 16 (3): 500-9
This study aimed to examine whether changes in the illness perceptions of oesophageal cancer survivors explain changes in their levels of psychological distress relative to demographic and biomedical variables and coping strategies. Oesophageal cancer survivors completed the Illness Perception Questionnaire - Revised, the Cancer Coping Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at two points in time, 12 months apart. Cluster analysis was used to identify groups of respondents who reported a similar profile of change in their illness perception scores over time. Findings suggested that enhancing control cognitions and encouraging a positive focus coping strategy may be important in improving psychological health.

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