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Anxiety and depression among cancer survivors: The role of engagement with sources of emotional support information.
Health Communication (2012)
  • Susan Mello, University of Pennsylvania
  • Andy SL Tan, University of Pennsylvania
  • Katrina Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
  • J Sanford Schwartz, University of Pennsylvania
  • Robert C Hornik, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract

This study explores cancer survivors' engagement with information about emotional support from doctors, interpersonal sources, and the media and examines to what extent such engagement affects subsequent self-reported anxiety and depression. Patients with colorectal, breast, or prostate cancer (n = 1,128) were surveyed over 3 years following diagnosis. Using lagged logistic regression, we predicted the odds of experiencing anxiety or depression based on earlier engagement with sources of emotional support, adjusting for prior symptoms and confounders. Among those reporting anxiety or depression (n = 476), we also asked whether information engagement affected the severity of those symptoms. Participants obtained information about emotional support from multiple sources, but most often from physicians. Discussions with physicians about emotional support increased the odds of cancer survivors subsequently reporting anxiety or depression by 1.58 times (95% CI: 1.06 to 2.35; p = 0.025), adjusted for prior symptoms and confounders. Scanning from media sources was also significantly associated with increased odds of reporting emotional symptoms (OR=1.72; 95% CI: 1.03 to 2.87; p = 0.039). However, among those who reported symptoms, doctor–patient engagement predicted slightly reduced interference of these symptoms with daily activities (B = −0.198; 95% CI: −0.393 to −0.003; p = 0.047). Important implications for health communication research and practice are discussed.

Keywords
  • Self-reported outcomes,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • interference with daily activities; emotional support; information engagement,
  • seeking and scanning,
  • cancer survivorship,
  • Pennsylvania
Publication Date
2012
Citation Information
Susan Mello, Andy SL Tan, Katrina Armstrong, J Sanford Schwartz, et al.. "Anxiety and depression among cancer survivors: The role of engagement with sources of emotional support information." Health Communication (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/andysltan/2/