Optimism, Locus of Control, Spirituality, and Meaning in Life in Cancer Patients

  • Schreiber, Judith (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Optimism is an area of interest in studies related to coping, spirituality, and finding meaning in life or benefits within a disease process. Specifically, this study will look at dispositional optimism, or the optimistic-pessimistic personality of the individual. Helping persons faced with life-threatening or life-changing diagnoses to cope with their diagnosis and make decisions about care or lifestyle changes is important in promoting quality of life. Knowing how individuals learn, make decisions, and cope with catastrophic illness allows healthcare professionals to provide tailored materials to promote optimal change. To date, no studies have assessed the relationship of optimism, locus of control (internal-self or external-chance, powerful others, God), spirituality, and personal meaning in life. My proposal is designed to assess the relationships between these four factors that have been independently shown to influence coping and decision-making. Two groups of participants will be studied - patients diagnosed with Stage III or Stage IV cancer and matched, healthy controls. Comparisons can be made between the two groups assuming similarities in gender, age, socio-economic status, and education with the matched controls. Based on the relationships found, future studies will be conducted to develop interventions or education incorporating content related to optimism, locus of control, spirituality, and meaning in life in order to support optimal coping and decision-making.
Effective start/end date8/1/077/31/09


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