Transitoriness in cancer patients: A cross-sectional survey of lung and gastrointestinal cancer patients

Maya Shaha, Vinciya Pandian, Michael A. Choti, Eden Stotsky, Joseph M. Herman, Yasmin Khan, Carol Libonati, Timothy M. Pawlik, Richard D. Schulick, Anne E. Belcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Despite earlier diagnosis and advancements in treatment, cancer remains a leading cause of death in the world (13% of all deaths according to the World Health Organization) among men and women. Cancer accounts for approximately 20% of the deaths in the USA every year. Here, we report the findings from a cross-sectional survey of psychosocial factors in lung and gastrointestinal cancer patients. The aim of the study was to explore the associations among transitoriness, uncertainty, and locus of control (LOC) with quality of life. Transitoriness is defined as a person's confrontation with life's finitude due to a cancer diagnosis. Methods: A total of 126 patients with lung or gastrointestinal cancer completed eight self-reporting questionnaires addressing demographics, spiritual perspective, symptom burden, transitoriness, uncertainty, LOC, and quality of life. Results: Transitoriness, uncertainty, and LOC were significantly associated with one another (r = 0.3267, p = 0.0002/r = 0.1994, p = 0.0252, respectively). LOC/belief in chance has a significant inverse relationship with patients' quality of life (r = -0.2505, p = 0.0047). Transitoriness, uncertainty, and LOC were found to have a significant inverse relationship with patients' quality of life (transitoriness state: r = -0.5363, p = 0.0000/trait: r = -0.4629, p = 0.0000/uncertainty: r = -0.4929, p = 0.0000/internal LOC: r = 0.1759, p = 0.0489/chance LOC: r = -0.2505, p = 0.0047). Conclusion: Transitoriness, uncertainty, and LOC are important concepts as they adversely influence patients' quality of life. Incorporating this finding into the care of cancer patients may provide them with the support they need to cope with treatment and maintenance of a positive quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cross-sectional survey
  • Gastrointestinal and lung cancer patients
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Quality of life
  • Transitoriness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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    Shaha, M., Pandian, V., Choti, M. A., Stotsky, E., Herman, J. M., Khan, Y., Libonati, C., Pawlik, T. M., Schulick, R. D., & Belcher, A. E. (2010). Transitoriness in cancer patients: A cross-sectional survey of lung and gastrointestinal cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer, 19(2), 271-279. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-010-0815-z