Positive and negative life changes experienced by survivors of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Office of Cancer Survivorship, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.2). 11/2007; 34(2):188-99. DOI: 10.1080/08836610701566936
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The impact of cancer on adult survivors of aggressive non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) is understudied.
We examined positive and negative life changes (health behaviors, relationships, financial situation) experienced by survivors of NHL and their association with physical and mental function.
Using the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program, 744 questionnaires were mailed to adult survivors of NHL: 308 provided complete data for analyses (M age=59.8, SD=14.9).
Perceptions of positive and negative life changes were common in our sample, with 77.9% of NHL survivors reporting at least one positive change and 78.6% reporting at least one negative change. Cancer had the greatest positive change on relationships and the most negative change on survivors' financial situation. There was an equal distribution of survivors classified as having experienced positive change and negative change on health behaviors. Regardless of whether positive and negative life change were entered into separate regression models or the same model, an increase in negative life change in each of the domains was significantly associated with a decrease in physical and mental functioning. Positive change was significantly associated only with physical functioning when examining overall change (p=.018) and health behaviors (p=.013), and the inclusion of negative change attenuated these associations.
In designing interventions to improve the mental and physical function of NHL survivors, the greatest benefit may likely be achieved by reducing the negative effects of cancer. Perhaps positive life changes are related in more specific ways to other indexes of adjustment, but our findings failed to show a positive relationship with mental and physical function.

Download full-text


Available from: Keith M Bellizzi, Feb 16, 2015
  • Source
    • "While the occurrence of benefit-finding in both cancer survivors (e.g., Antoni et al., 2001; Bellizi, Miller, Arora, & Rowland, 2007; Burris & Andrykowski, in press) and caregivers (Kim, Schulz, & Carver, 2007) is well-documented, our study adds to the small literature suggesting benefit-finding might also occur after receipt of test results that suggest only the possibility of increased risk for a future cancer diagnosis (Low et al., 2008). However, the " threat " and consequent benefit finding evident in the context of cancer screening settings might be less than that characteristic of the cancer survivor setting. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: All cancer screening tests produce a proportion of abnormal results requiring follow up. Consequently, the cancer-screening setting is a natural laboratory for examining psychological and behavioural response to a threatening health-related event. This study tested hypotheses derived from the social cognitive processing and cognitive-social health information processing models in trying to understand response to an abnormal ovarian cancer (OC) screening test result. Women (n = 278) receiving an abnormal screening test result a mean of 7 weeks earlier were assessed prior to a repeat screening test intended to clarify their previous abnormal result. Measures of disposition (optimism, informational coping style), social environment (social support and constraint), emotional processing, distress, and benefit finding were obtained. Regression analyses indicated greater distress was associated with greater social constraint and emotional processing and a monitoring coping style in women with a family history of OC. Distress was unrelated to social support. Greater benefit finding was associated with both greater social constraint and support and greater distress. The primacy of social constraint in accounting for both benefit finding and distress was noteworthy and warrants further research on the role of social constraint in adaptation to stressful events.
    Psychology & Health 04/2010; 26(4):383-97. DOI:10.1080/08870440903437034 · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The importance of quality of life (QOL) among cancer survivors is second only to survival [1]. A cancer survivor’s general well-being significantly impacts his or her ability to successfully engage in everyday activities and to adapt to living with cancer [2], and it has been shown to be a powerful predictor of survival and treatment-related toxicity among cancer survivors [3–7]. How well a cancer survivor copes with the changes resulting from the cancer and its treatment depends on a variety of physical and psychosocial factors that determine the cancer survivor’s overall QOL.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As advances in cancer medicine turn this once uniformly fatal illness into a curable disease for growing numbers and a chronic illness for many, understanding and meeting the needs of long-term cancer survivors and their caregivers has become a major public health challenge, a challenge made more urgent by the aging of the population. This article reviews the profile of today's cancer survivors along with the demographic information on what this profile might look like in the future. Current directions in and the knowledge gained from the growing body of cancer survivorship research and the science of the long-term and late consequences to individuals, families, and society of people living longer with a cancer history are delineated.
    Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America 05/2008; 22(2):181-200, v. DOI:10.1016/j.hoc.2008.01.008 · 2.07 Impact Factor
Show more