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Morris B.A.,Griffith University | Lepore S.J.,Temple University | Wilson B.,Griffith University | Lieberman M.A.,University of California at San Francisco | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Cancer Survivorship | Year: 2014

Purpose: The term cancer survivor can refer to individuals from diagnosis through the rest of their life. However, not all people with cancer identify as a survivor, and underlying factors and correlates are yet to be well-explored empirically. Methods: Study 1 surveyed men in a prostate cancer peer support network (n = 514), exploring psychosocial variables related to adopting a survivor identity. Study 2 interviewed 160 women with breast cancer in an online support group and collected observational data, assessing how survivor identity relates to perceptions of and participation in online support groups. Results: For men, survivor identity (35 %) was related to lower levels of threat appraisal (p = .000), more deliberate rumination (p = .042), gaining greater understanding of cancer experience through peers (p = .041) and a higher, though marginally significant, level of posttraumatic growth (p = .052). Women adopting a survivor identity (50 %) had higher rates of online support group posts (p = .048), a greater feeling of mattering to the group (p = .002), rated the group as more helpful (p = .004 to .01) and had less difficulty in relating to the group (p = .002) than women not identifying as a survivor. Conclusions: Survivor identity was related to active and positive engagement with peers, and cognitive processing. Implications for cancer survivors: While the cancer survivor metaphor may be salient for some people diagnosed with cancer, many did not associate with the term, highlighting the complexity surrounding survivorship discourse and the need to be sensitive to unique individual needs in psychosocial interventions that involve groups. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Morris B.A.,Griffith University | Thorndike F.P.,University of Virginia | Ritterband L.M.,University of Virginia | Glozier N.,University of Sydney | And 6 more authors.
Supportive Care in Cancer | Year: 2014

Purpose: Insomnia is highly prevalent in people who are affected by cancer. However, options available to receive support for insomnia are limited. Telephone-based help services, such as cancer helplines, may be ideally placed to meet unmet needs regarding insomnia after cancer. The present study describes the prevalence and predictors of insomnia in patients and caregivers who call cancer helplines seeking support.Methods: Participants (N = 500 patients, N = 234 caregivers) were recruited through an Australian state-based telephone-delivered cancer helpline. In addition to routine screening with the Distress Thermometer, participants were administered the Insomnia Severity Index.Results: Most participants were female, older than 50 years of age, and were three (caregivers) to four (patients) months post-diagnosis. Insomnia symptoms were reported by 59.4 % of patients and 62.9 % of caregivers, with moderate to severe levels of insomnia reported by 27 % of patients and 30 % of caregivers. Insomnia was predicted by distress level for both patients (β = .31, p < .001) and caregivers (β = .32, p < .001) and age for patients only (β = −.13, p < .01).Conclusions: Insomnia symptoms are common in patients and caregivers who call cancer helplines and appear to be related to distress. Telephone-based helplines have the potential to act as the first line of support in a stepped care approach addressing insomnia. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Wilson B.,Griffith University | Morris B.A.,Griffith University | Chambers S.,Griffith University | Chambers S.,Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia | And 2 more authors.
Psycho-Oncology | Year: 2014

Conclusions: Results support the notion that the appraisal of cancer, disruption of fundamental beliefs, and experience of intrusive cancer-related rumination are associated with PTG. Additionally, a sense of connection with peers and seeking an understanding of the cancer experience through peers is important for the perception of PTG. Possible indirect pathways were also proposed between resilience and PTG. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Background: Posttraumatic growth (PTG) encompasses an individual's perception of positive personal changes as a consequence of a traumatic incident. The current study tested a theoretical model of PTG with the inclusion of resilience in the context of cancer survivors.Methods: Members of a prostate cancer support network were invited to complete a cross-sectional mail survey (N= 514, 52.8% response; mean age 70.17 years, and time since diagnosis 7.5 years).Results: Challenge appraisal (ß = 0.361), examining core beliefs (ß = 0.474), intrusive rumination (ß = 0.130), and peer support factors (ß = 0.104) had significant direct effects on PTG. Resilience (ß = 0.164), challenge appraisal (ß = 0.215), distress (ß = 0.186), and examining core beliefs (ß = 0.105) had significant indirect effects on PTG.

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