Coping after cancer: risk perceptions, worry and health behaviors among colorectal cancer survivors

Mullens, Amy B. and McCaul, Kevin D. and Erickson, Shannon C. and Sandgren, Ann K. (2004) Coping after cancer: risk perceptions, worry and health behaviors among colorectal cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 13 ( 6). pp. 367-376. ISSN 1057-9249


This study asks whether the experience of cancer motivates healthy behavior change. Further, we asked whether such changes relate to risk perceptions and worry, as suggested by Leventhal's Parallel Processing Model. Male (n=41) and female (n=40) survivors of colorectal cancer were interviewed 1–14 years after they first completed treatment. Younger age was associated with stronger risk perceptions, more worry, and greater anxiety. Shorter-term, compared to longer-term survivors, reported higher risk perceptions and more frequent intrusive thoughts. Greater perceived risk, worry and anxiety correlated positively with intentions to make positive health behavior changes. Overall, these survivors did not report exaggerated risk perceptions, and they were not overly worried or anxious about cancer recurrence. However, low-level risk perceptions, worry, and anxiety motivated interest in adopting protective health behaviors.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 May 2016 23:47
Last Modified: 20 May 2016 00:23
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/pon.751

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