Objective: This article reviews literature on adults' mental health outcomes during acute and long-term colorectal cancer (CRC) survivorship. Methods: We identified articles that included at least one measure of psychological symptoms or mental quality of life or well-being through a search of databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PsycARTICLES). Articles were published between January 2004 and April 2015. Results: A significant proportion of CRC survivors experience clinically meaningful levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms or reduced mental well-being across the trajectory of the illness. Demographic, medical, and psychosocial predictors of mental health outcomes were identified. However, few studies were theory-driven, and gaps remain in our understanding of risk and protective factors with respect to mental health outcomes, especially during long-term CRC survivorship. Conclusions: Theory-driven longitudinal research with larger samples is required to identify subgroups of CRC survivors with different trajectories of psychological adjustment. Such research would assess adjustment as a function of internal resources (e.g., personality and coping) and external resources (e.g., finances and social support) to inform future interventions for CRC survivors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health