JOURNAL ARTICLE

Change in psychological distress in longer-term oesophageal cancer carers: are clusters of illness perception change a useful determinant?

Lisa Graham, Martin Dempster, Noleen K McCorry, Michael Donnelly, Brian T Johnston
Psycho-oncology 2016, 25 (6): 663-9
26387642

OBJECTIVE: This study provides a longitudinal assessment of distress in longer-term oesophageal cancer carers, while examining illness perception schema as a possible determinant of change in distress over time.

METHODS: Oesophageal cancer carers (n = 171), 48 months post-diagnosis, were assessed at baseline and 12 months later with the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised, Cancer Coping Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Concerns About Recurrence Scale.

RESULTS: Findings report deterioration from normal to probable anxiety in 35.7% of carers and probable depression in 28.7% carers over time. Fear of recurrence remained stable. Changes in control, consequence and cause beliefs were identified as key determinants of a change in psychological morbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: Illness beliefs appear to be valuable targets for psychological intervention to improve wellbeing among carers of people with oesophageal cancer. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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