Appraisal of emerging symptoms of colorectal cancer: Associations with dispositional, demographic, and tumor characteristics

Stephen L. Ristvedt, Sandi L. Pruitt, Kathryn M. Trinkaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The time it takes for individuals to realize that their emerging colorectal cancer (CRC) symptoms are serious is often an impediment to expeditious help-seeking. Tailored educational efforts to hasten symptom appraisal time would benefit from knowledge of the characteristics of individuals who tend to neglect their symptoms as well as the nature of symptoms that are most often neglected. In a sample of 112 CRC patients, we investigated associations between duration of symptom appraisal and: (1) trait anxiety, and (2) tumor location, which affects symptomatology. Symptom appraisal duration was associated with a sex-by-anxiety interaction (p = 0.007). The longest times (in weeks) were among high anxiety females (Mdn = 26.0) and low anxiety males (Mdn = 17.0), with shorter times among low anxiety females (Mdn = 9.0) and high anxiety males (Mdn = 2.0). Symptom appraisal times were also longer for patients with distal (vs. proximal) tumors (p = 0.036).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-708
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Common-sense model
  • Sex differences
  • Symptom appraisal
  • Trait anxiety

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