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Table 3 Coping in men with prostate cancer

From: Psychological adjustment of men with prostate cancer: a review of the literature

Study Design Characteristics of the sample Major Findings
Bjork et al. (1999) • Cross-sectional study – mail-out survey using the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale, The Life Orientation Test, Beck Depression Inventory and the Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory • 30 usable responses (mean 62 years since diagnosis) from 55 questionnaires distributed • Completed a range of distress-related and self-esteem measures
• Helplessness related to lower self-esteem; Loss appraisals to depression; threat appraisals to anxiety; optimism negatively related to depression and anxiety
Helgeson and Lepore (1997) • Cross-sectional study – mail-out using the CARES and several measures developed for the study • 162 usable responses from 258 questionnaires distributed Most (83%) were radical prostatectomies, a mean of 13 months since diagnosis • Self-focused identity associated with worse functioning, greater cancer difficulties and poorer emotional expression
• Expressed emotion mediated the links between self-identity and cancer difficulties
Lepore and Helgeson (1998) • Cross-sectional study – mail-out using MHI-5, Impact of Events Scale, and CARES • 181 usable responses from 258 questionnaires distributed Most (83%) were radical prostatectomies, a mean of 13 months since diagnosis • Social constraints in talking about cancer moderated trauma and mental health relationships
• Conclusion: Supportive social networks may promote psychological adjustment by facilitating cognitive processing of the cancer experience
Penedo et al. (2003) • Cross-sectional study using the Life Orientation Test-Revised and Measure of Current Status • 46 radical prostatectomy patients recruited to a stress management study • Optimism, perceived stress management skills, and positive mood were correlated
• Relationship between optimism and positive mood might be mediated by perceived stress management skills.
Zakowski et al. (2003) • Cross-sectional study comparing men and women with cancer using the Social Constraints Scale, The Emotional Expressivity Scale, the Impact of Events Scale and the Profile of Mood States • 41 men with PCA and 41 women with gynaecological cancer • Men experienced greater distress in association with social constraints from their partners than did the women
• Men might have fewer outlets for emotional expression so constraints from partners might lead to greater distress.