OBJECTIVE: Limited research has investigated the psychosocial processes that underpin the effect of physical symptoms on fear of cancer recurrence.
Additionally, despite evidence of increased vulnerability of marginalized populations to negative outcomes, few studies have examined the unique experience of gay men coping with the cancer process. The goals of this study were to determine whether disease-related self-efficacy and satisfaction with medical care mediated the relationship between greater physical symptoms and worse fear of recurrence among gay or bisexual prostate cancer survivors.
METHODS: Participants were composed of 92 self-identified gay or bisexual men, who had received a diagnosis of prostate cancer in the past 4 years. Participants provided demographic information and completed self-report questionnaires that assessed symptom function, self-efficacy for prostate cancer symptoms, satisfaction with healthcare, and fear of recurrence. Bootstrapping procedures were used to assess for significant mediation.
RESULTS: Results suggested significant mediation of the relationship between each of bowel, hormonal, and sexual function with fear of recurrence by self-efficacy and satisfaction with healthcare. Mediation was not significantly supported for the association between urinary function and fear of recurrence.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings support the explanatory effects of self-efficacy for symptom management and satisfaction with healthcare on the relationship between symptom function and fear of recurrence. These results indicate that psychological processes, specifically psychological factors that hold particular relevance to gay or bisexual men, reflect a potential avenue for intervention to decrease fear of cancer recurrence.
Torbit LA, Albiani JJ, Crangle CJ, Latini DM, Hart TL. Are you the author?
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Reference: Psychooncology. 2014 Jul 24. Epub ahead of print.