Hope and optimism may moderate different facets of psychological distress among patients with advanced cancer, according to a study published in Supportive Care in Cancer.
Patients with advanced cancer face numerous hardships and uncertainties associated with their condition and often experience severe psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety. Identifying potential predictors and mediators of psychological distress is important as this has implications for treatment decisions and outcomes.
For this cross-sectional analysis, researchers evaluated the outcomes of 84 patients with advanced melanoma, colorectal, lung, or gastrointestinal cancers who had a predicted progression-free or overall survival of less than 1 year. Patients completed a survey that measured anxiety and depressive symptoms, optimism, hope, prediction for 12-month survival, and demographic information; the patients’ oncologists also provided predictions for 12-month survival and patient performance status.
Results of the study showed that having high levels of hope was associated with less severe depressive symptoms, and patients who were highly optimistic experienced less severe anxiety.