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Factors Influencing Psychological Distress in Patients with Cancer
  • Debra Kantor, Molloy University
Over 40% of Americans are at risk for developing cancer during their lifetime. Technological advances have resulted in improved survival rates. The uncertainty associated with the diagnosis of cancer may give rise to psychological distress. Psychological distress is a multifaceted, complex concept that has shown to interfere with the patient's quality of life, treatment regimens, and treatment outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influence psychological distress in patients with cancer. Influencing factors of psychological distress include medical treatments, personal concerns, family relationships, social support, spirituality, uncertainty and professional support. The theoretical framework that guided this study was derived from the Theory of Uncertainty, Chaos Theory, and review of the literature. The sample consisted of 150 patients diagnosed with non-metastatic cancer living in the suburbs of a major Northeastern United States city. Data was collected using three instruments that measured the degree of psychological distress and the influencing factors: the Distress Thermometer, Mishel's Uncertainty Scale and the Distress Inventory for Cancer-Version 2. The results of this study revealed that significant relationships exist between psychological distress and personal concerns, finances, and uncertainty. In this study the influencing factor of personal concerns was shown to mediate the other factors. Studies have shown that nurses do not routinely screen for psychological distress. Nurses involved in the care of oncology patients can utilize the results of this study to recognize the impact of cancer beyond the clinical manifestations. In addition, nurses can use the results to develop a collaborative plan of care to address the psychological distress that patients with cancer may be experiencing.
  • physiological psychology,
  • oncology,
  • nursing,
  • psychology,
  • patients with cancer,
  • survivorship,
  • psychological distress
Publication Date
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
School of Nursing, Adelphi University
Yiyuan Sun
ProQuest document ID 1431183258
Citation Information
Debra Kantor. "Factors Influencing Psychological Distress in Patients with Cancer" (2013)
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