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08.09.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2017

Supportive Care in Cancer 1/2017

The influence of dyadic symptom distress on threat appraisals and self-efficacy in advanced cancer and caregiving

Zeitschrift:
Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Katrina R. Ellis, Mary R. Janevic, Trace Kershaw, Cleopatra H. Caldwell, Nancy K. Janz, Laurel Northouse

Abstract

Purpose

Physical and psychological symptoms experienced by patients with advanced cancer influence their well-being; how patient and family caregiver symptom distress influence each other’s well-being is less understood. This study examined the influence of patient and caregiver symptom distress on their threat appraisals and self-efficacy to cope with cancer.

Methods

We conducted a secondary analysis of baseline data from an RCT that enrolled patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers (N = 484 dyads). Structural equation modeling and the actor-partner interdependence mediation model (APIMeM) were used to examine two models: threat appraisals as a mediator of the relationship between symptom distress and individual and family-related self-efficacy; and, self-efficacy (individual and family dimensions) as mediators of the relationship between symptom distress and threat appraisals.

Results

Data suggest the self-efficacy mediation model was the preferred model. More patient and caregiver symptom distress was directly associated with their own lower self-efficacy and more threatening appraisals. Patient and caregiver individual self-efficacy also mediated the relationship between their own symptom distress and threat appraisals. There were also significant interdependent effects. More patient symptom distress was associated with less caregiver family-related self-efficacy, and more caregiver symptom distress was directly associated with more threatening patient appraisals.

Conclusions

Patient and caregiver symptom distress influenced their own and in some cases each other’s cognitive appraisals. Limitations of this study include the use of cross-sectional data and assessments of individually-focused (vs. family-focused) threat appraisals. These findings highlight the need to consider the management of patient and caregiver symptoms during advanced cancer.

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