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Mental Health - Oncology - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology


Cancer during Adolescence: Negative and Positive Consequences Reported Three and Four Years after Diagnosis
Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Author: Gunn Engvall et al.

by Gunn Engvall, Martin Cernvall, Gunnel Larsson, Louise von Essen, Elisabet Mattsson

Persons diagnosed with cancer during adolescence have reported negative and positive cancer-related consequences two years after diagnosis. The overall aim was to longitudinally describe negative and positive cancer-related consequences reported by the same persons three and four years after diagnosis. A secondary aim was to explore whether reports of using vs. not using certain coping strategies shortly after diagnosis are related to reporting or not reporting certain consequences four years after diagnosis. Thirty-two participants answered questions about coping strategies shortly after diagnosis and negative and positive consequences three and four years after diagnosis. Answers about consequences were analysed with content analysis, potential relations between coping strategies and consequences were analysed by Fisher's exact test. The great majority reported negative and positive consequences three and four years after diagnosis and the findings indicate stability over time with regard to perceived consequences during the extended phase of survival. Findings reveal a potential relation between seeking information shortly after diagnosis and reporting a more positive view of life four years after diagnosis and not using fighting spirit shortly after diagnosis and not reporting good self-esteem and good relations four years after diagnosis. It is concluded that concomitant negative and positive cancer-related consequences appear stable over time in the extended phase of survival and that dialectical forces of negative and positive as well as distress and growth often go hand-in-hand after a trauma such as cancer during adolescence.
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