L’adattamento alla patologia oncologica nei pazienti e nei propri familiari. Il ruolo dell’attaccamento e del supporto sociale

Progetto: Research project

Dettagli progetto


Cancer patients may have to face multiple stressful situations during the course of the illness. Through study that examined distress across 14 cancer sites it was found that 35.1% of newly diagnosed cancer patients were distressed (Zabora et al., 2001). The majority of cancer survivors will not be diagnosed as suffering a psychiatric illness but may experience psychological symptoms and non-psychiatric problems of living with cancer which can cause disruption to quality of life (Thewes et al., 2004).The psychological adjustment of patients varies with a number of factors, including aspects of their intimate relationship (Holmberg, Scott, Alexy, & Fife, 2001). Interpersonal relationships play a key role in how people cope with distress and adjust to life crises of all kinds (Bloom, Stewart, Johnston, Banks, & Fobair, 2001; Holland & Holahan, 2003). In particular, styles of attachment were found to be relevant to cope with stressful events by influencing self-efficacy and expectations of care from “significant others”, especially when these stressful events are associated with the threat of separation and loss.
The aim of this study was to test whether attachment dimensions and social support predict patients’ adjustment to cancer. Specifically, we hypothesized that: higher levels of attachment anxiety would be associated with poorer adjustment; and greater social support would be associated with better adjustment. Therefore, the role of different sources of support was examined to identify how perceived support exerted its influence on adjustment: we expected that family and friend networks exert different roles on patient’s adjustment to cancer.

Layman's description

Objectives: Several studies carried out over the last years show that patients’ adjustment is very important to the past experiences of people with cancer. In our study of 96 subjects with cancer, we will examine whether patient’s working model of attachment anxiety/avoidance and perceptions of social support predicts adjustment to cancer.
Methods: All participants will fill in a demographic questionnaire, the Relationship Scale Questionnaire (RSQ), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC).
Data di inizio/fine effettiva1/1/06 → …


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