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Psychooncology. 2010 Nov;19(11):1171-8. doi: 10.1002/pon.1666.

Application of a stress and coping model to positive and negative adjustment outcomes in colorectal cancer caregiving.

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  • 1School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


This study examined relations between stress and coping predictors and negative (distress) and positive (positive affect, life satisfaction, positive states of mind, health) adjustment outcomes in colorectal cancer caregivers. A total of 622 caregivers and their care-recipients completed questionnaires and interviews. Predictors included caregiving parameters, social support, appraisal (stress, control, challenge), and coping strategies (problem-solving, avoidance, substance use, religion, humor, seeking social support). Regression analyses indicated that after controlling for the effects of relevant caregiving parameters (caregiver age, gender and paid employment status, care-recipient quality of life, cancer stage), better caregiver adjustment was related to higher social support, lower stress and higher challenge appraisals, and less reliance on avoidance and substance use coping, as hypothesized. Stress appraisal emerged as the strongest and most consistent predictor of all adjustment outcomes. Findings support the utility of the stress and coping model of adjustment to caregiving in colorectal cancer.

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