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October 2021

Cancer and psychological distress: Two investigations regarding the role of social problem-solving

Author(s): Nezu, A. M., Friedman, S. H., Houts, P. S., DelliCarpini, L. A., Bildner, C., Faddis, S.

Journal/Book: J Psychosoc Oncol. 1999; 16: 10 Alice St, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580, USA. Haworth Press Inc. 27-40.

Abstract: Social problem-solving ability has previously been found to be an important coping mechanism in predicting distress reactions to stressful events in the general population. This article describes two studies that empirically evaluated the applicability of these findings to the psychooncology literature by assessing the relationship between distress and problem-solving in two different groups of cancer patients. In Study 1, 105 patients with recently diagnosed cancer completed inventories addressing social problem-solving, symptoms of distress, and cancer-specific problems. The results indicated that the patients who were less effective problem-solvers also reported higher levels of anxiety and depression as well as more cancer-related problems. Study 2 involved 64 women who had undergone surgery for breast cancer between 1 and 13.3 years earlier. A self-report of negative life events served to control for the effects of recent stressors. The results of this study indicated that less problem-solving ability was a significant predictor of psychological distress, whereas time since surgery was not associated with cancer-related distress. Together, the two studies provide strong initial support for the existence of an important relationship between social problem-solving and cancer-related distress.

Note: Article Nezu CM, Med Coll Penn & Hahnemann Univ, Dept Clin & Hlth Psychol, Ctr Mind Body Studies, MS 626, Broad & Vine, Philadelphia,PA 19102 USA

Keyword(s): problem-solving therapy; coping; cancer; UNIPOLAR DEPRESSION; THERAPY


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