Is Dispositional Optimism Associated with Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Inger Schou-Bredal, Kirsti Tøien
2017 Psychology  
In view of the large body of research demonstrating that optimism has beneficial effects on people's well-being and health, one may assume that it also protects against fatigue. However, few studies have investigated the association between optimism and cancer-related fatigue in cancer patients, and the results are inconsistent. Thus our aim was to investigate if optimism is associated with severe fatigue, when adjusting for known factors associated with fatigue such as age, emotional distress,
more » ... emotional distress, pain, Body Mass Index (BMI), surgery type and adjuvant treatment. We conducted a nationwide survey of 832 Norwegian breast cancer survivors. The women completed the Fatigue Questionnaire, Brief Pain Inventory Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Life Orientation Test-Revised, two to six years after treatment. Results showed that 37% of the women reported severe fatigue. Women with severe fatigue scored lower on optimism than those without (15.5 vs 17.7, p < .0001). A logistic regression analysis with severe fatigue as the dependent variable showed that low level of optimism was significantly associated with severe fatigue, but the association was very low in comparison to emotional distress and chronic pain. The study's findings may be useful in directing breast cancer centers' effort to identify and provide comprehensive care for breast cancer survivors with severe fatigue.
doi:10.4236/psych.2017.811116 fatcat:6orexourjras5f32nwg7a75sjq