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Health Psychol. 2005 Mar;24(2):143-52.

Ovarian cancer patients' psychological distress: the role of physical impairment, perceived unsupportive family and friend behaviors, perceived control, and self-esteem.

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Psycho-oncology Program, Division of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Although research has indicated that illness-related and interpersonal stress are associated with greater psychological distress among cancer patients, little empirical attention has been given to mechanisms that account for these relationships. In the present study, 2 mechanisms for the association between illness-related stress (physical impairment) and interpersonal stress (family and friend unsupportive responses) and psychological distress of 143 ovarian cancer patients were examined cross-sectionally. Separate structural equation models tested whether physical impairment impacted patients' distress via decrements in perceived control over their illness and whether unsupportive behaviors impacted patients' distress via decrements in patients' self-esteem. Results supported the proposed models and suggest that perceived control and self-esteem are 2 mechanisms for explaining how illness-related and interpersonal stress may be associated with psychological distress among women with ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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