Éva KÁLLAY1,*, Csaba L. DÉGI2, Sebastian PINTEA1
1 Department of Psychology, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2 Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Most cancer-patients confront a wide range of physical, emotional, interpersonal, social, professional, and spiritual problems. Even if the priority in cancer treatment is still the control of the tumor progression, the cancer patients’ quality of life is an important predictor of the survival rate. The major aim of the present study was to test several psychological predictors of the four components of Quality of Life (QoL) (physical, social/family, emotional, functional) and the longitudinal stability of their predictive value in two nationally representative samples of Romanian cancer patients. The present research used a repeated cross-sectional design (2007–2014), sampling following the proportional quota method. We obtained a national sample of cancer patients, maintaining gender and ethnic rates, and permitting the investigation of results stability from one assessment to the other. Our results indicate that depression and anxiety are relevant predictors for all the four dimensions of QoL. More specifically, for physical, emotional, and functional well-being, depression and anxiety are the main predictors, however their predictive rank varies from one assessment to another only in the case of emotional well-being. Regarding the social family domain, the best predictors in both assessments were loneliness and problem coping, followed by depression and anxiety. One of the major strengths of our research is represented by the longitudinal reliability of the results. Both assessments highlighted that the emotional implications of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer are important and stable underlying factors.
KEYWORDS: cancer, depression, anxiety, loneliness, emotion- and problem-focused coping, quality of life.
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