Trait anxiety as an independent predictor of poor health-related quality of life and post-traumatic stress symptoms in rectal cancer

Stephen L. Ristvedt, Kathryn M. Trinkaus

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To determine the influence of trait anxiety on patient reports of healthrelated quality of life (HRQoL) and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in a sample of rectal cancer survivors. Design. Eighty patients who had been diagnosed with rectal cancer were assessed at two points in time in a longitudinal study. Methods. At Time 1, soon after initial treatment, participants completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Temperament and Character Inventory Harm Avoidance scale, which were combined into a composite measure of trait anxiety. At Time 2, 2-5 years following Time 1, participants were assessed for HRQoL using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Colorectal scale (FACT-C) and for PTSS using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Results. HRQoL and PTSS were generally favourable on average, although many of the patients reported faring poorly. Higher levels of trait anxiety were predictive of poorer scores on all of the FACT-C and the IES-R total and subscale measures. More severe faecal incontinence was associated with poorer scores on the FACT Emotional well-being subscale, the FACT-Colorectal Cancer Scale, and all of the IES-R scales. Males were more likely than females to have poorer scores on the FACT Social wellbeing subscale, and those patients who were further out from active treatment had more favourable scores on the FACT-Colorectal Cancer Scale. The presence of a colostomy did not impact HRQoL or PTSS. Conclusion. Trait anxiety had a significant influence on HRQoL and PTSS several years following diagnosis and treatment of rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-715
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

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