Why Do Adult Patients With Cancer Not Seek Help for Their Depressive Symptoms? The Role of Illness Perceptions, Coping, and Social Support

Esmée A. Bickel*, Joke Fleer, Adelita V. Ranchor, Maya J. Schroevers

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Up to 75% of cancer patients with depressive symptoms do not make use of psychological care.

To examine how perceptions of and coping with depressive symptoms and perceived social support in adults with cancer are associated with their need for psychological care, concurrently and over time.

In this longitudinal study, 127 participants who received a cancer diagnosis in the past 5 years, experienced at least moderate depressive symptoms, and were not receiving psychological help, completed 2 self-report questionnaires (3 months apart) including the brief Illness Perception Questionnaire and brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory and Social Support List.

Participants with stronger belief in the efficacy of psychological care and more likely to use avoidant coping reported a greater need for psychological care at both data points. Social support was not significantly associated with perceived need for psychological care.

Stronger perceived treatment control and greater use of avoidant coping were significantly associated with a greater perceived need for psychological care.

Implications for practice:
People with cancer may benefit from being informed about the efficacy of depression treatment. Furthermore, health care professionals should be aware that avoidant coping may complicate psychological care seeking for a group of adults with cancer experiencing depressive symptoms and having a need for psychological care.

Illness perceptions and coping mechanisms can predict cancer patients’ need for psychological care. Providing information about treatment options and its efficacy, together with targeting avoidant coping may increase adequate decision-making and possibly the uptake of psychological care.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftCancer Care Research Online
StatusPublished - 19-okt.-2022

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