Cancer-related loneliness mediates the relationships between social constraints and symptoms among cancer patients

Rebecca N. Adams, Catherine E. Mosher, Joseph G. Winger, Rafat Abonour, Kurt Kroenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer patients have high rates of persistent and disabling symptoms. Evidence suggests that social constraints (e.g., avoidance and criticism) negatively impact symptoms, but pathways linking these variables have yet to be identified. This study examined whether cancer-related loneliness (i.e., feeling socially disconnected related to having cancer) mediated the relationships between social constraints and symptoms (i.e., pain interference, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive complaints) in patients with various cancers (N = 182). Patients (51% female, mean age = 59) were recruited from the Indiana Cancer Registry and completed questionnaires assessing social constraints, cancer-related loneliness, and symptoms. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the hypothesized relationships among variables. The model demonstrated good fit. Consistent with our hypothesis, cancer-related loneliness mediated the relationships between social constraints and each symptom. Findings suggest that addressing cancer-related loneliness in symptom management interventions may mitigate the negative impact of social constraints on outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Loneliness
  • Neoplasm
  • Social constraints
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cancer-related loneliness mediates the relationships between social constraints and symptoms among cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this