The Daily Experience of Somatic Anxiety and Worry in Lung Cancer Survivors

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Daily Experience of Somatic Anxiety and Worry in Lung Cancer Survivors Virtually all cancer survivors report experiencing distressing cognitive and emotional reactions (e.g., anxiety, worry, fear) to the status of their health, particularly after discharge from treatment. Somatic anxiety and worry (SAW) has a detrimental impact on quality of life. While SAW is ubiquitous in cancer survivors, virtually nothing is known about the factors that exacerbate or diminish the degree to which the phenomenon is experienced. The research undertaken in this study frames the experience of SAW within a cognitive psychological model of symptom perception. Specifically, the model predicts that the daily experience of SAW is related to (a) internally focused attention regulation, (b) a somatic attributional style, (c) somatic symptoms, (d) neuroticism, and (e) daily stress. Participants will be adult (18 years+), non-small cell, lung cancer survivors seen at the Penn State Cancer Institute, at either Stage 1 or 2, and are a minimum of 60- days, and a maximum of 24-months, post-discharge from treatment. Participants will complete a brief battery of measures and will then be called over eight consecutive evenings to complete a brief telephone interview. During the interview, participants will be asked about the day's stressful experiences, somatic symptoms experienced, and any concomitant SAW. The goodness of fit of the model explaining SAW will be assessed using structural equation modeling. The study will also examine the kinds of stress experiences that are most and least predictive of SAW, and determine the degree to which one day's experiences influence the degree to which SAW is experienced on subsequent days. Finally, we will determine the degree to which the level of SAW on one day influences the number of somatic symptoms, stress, and SAW experienced on subsequent days. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to develop an empirically supported psychosocial prevention/intervention approach to SAW with cancer survivors. The basic research findings should be directly translatable to psychosocial prevention/intervention strategies with cancer survivors experiencing SAW, as well as provide an impetus for additional basic and applied research on SAW. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This study will be the first to shed light on the day-to-day manifestation of somatic anxiety and worry (SAW) in lung cancer survivors. By investigating the predictors of SAW in lung cancer survivors, our results will inform prevention and intervention efforts to improve the quality of life of lung cancer survivors, as well as other survivors with relatively short projected life spans.
Effective start/end date7/1/096/30/10


  • National Cancer Institute: $76,033.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $75,779.00


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