Causal attributions and their impact on psychosocial functioning in head and neck cancer patient–caregiver dyads: a preliminary, longitudinal study

Jessica L. Burris, Jessica N. Rivera-Rivera, Kent Armeson, Jane Zapka, Anthony J. Alberg, Terry A. Day, Katherine R. Sterba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This longitudinal study explores causal attributions in newly diagnosed head/neck cancer (HNC) patients and their caregivers. Methods: Perceptions of causal attributions and associated level of responsibility regarding each patient’s HNC diagnosis at baseline (n = 72 dyads) were described and then tested as predictors of depressive symptoms, cancer worry, and perceived support 6 months later. Results: When causes were reported, tobacco and alcohol use topped the list of both patients and caregivers. Three-quarters of dyads agreed about perceptions of the patients’ responsibility in causing their HNC. Some dyad-level patterns of causal attribution were associated with patients’ and caregivers’ cancer worry (p < 0.05) and caregivers’ perceived support (p < 0.05) in unadjusted models. Conclusions: This preliminary study indicates that causal attributions warrant further exploration in HNC patient–caregiver dyads specifically, as well as studies of quality of life in patient–caregiver dyads more broadly considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1109
Number of pages5
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge data collection and recruitment support from Rebecca Patten, OT, Lee Anne Tetrick, BS and Amy Buchanan, MPH, RD. This work was supported by the American Cancer Society [MRSG-12-221-01-CPPB]; the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [UL1TR000062]; and the National Cancer Institute [P30 CA138313, K07 CA181351]. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the American Cancer Society or National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge data collection and recruitment support from Rebecca Patten, OT, Lee Anne Tetrick, BS and Amy Buchanan, MPH, RD. This work was supported by the American Cancer Society [MRSG-12-221-01-CPPB]; the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [UL1TR000062]; and the National Cancer Institute [P30 CA138313, K07 CA181351]. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the American Cancer Society or National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
Ethical Approval All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. This research was supported by the American Cancer Society [MRSG-12-221-01-CPPB]; the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [UL1TR000062]; and the National Cancer Institute [P30 CA138313, K07 CA181351]. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the American Cancer Society or National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Causal attributions
  • Distress
  • Dyads
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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