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Proffered paper session - Supportive and palliative care

3131 - Posttraumatic Growth and Death anxiety in Caregivers of Cancer Patients: PHOENIX Study


21 Oct 2018


Proffered paper session - Supportive and palliative care


Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer

Tumour Site


Ali Alkan


Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_8): viii557-viii561. 10.1093/annonc/mdy296


A. Alkan1, E.B. Köksoy2, E. Karcı3, H. Burgaç1, A. Arıkanoğlu Soğancı1, D. Yaman1, F. Çay Şenler4

Author affiliations

  • 1 Medical Oncology, Osmaniye Public Hospital, 80000 - Osmaniye/TR
  • 2 Medical Oncology, Kastamonu Public Hospital, 37000 - Kastamonu/TR
  • 3 Medical Oncology, Bağcılar Education and Research Hospital, 340000 - İstanbul/TR
  • 4 Medical Oncology, Ankara University School of Medicine, 34000 - İstanbul/TR


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Abstract 3131


Post traumatic growth (PTG) is defined as a positive psychological change that occurs following a meaningfully challenging or traumatic life event. The purpose of the study is to define the predictors of PTG and death anxiety (DAN) in care givers of cancer patients and evaluate the impact of DAN on PTG.


The study is designed as a multicenter survey study. Caregivers of cancer patients were evaluated with structured questionnaires to assess the DAN and PTG and clinical parameters associated with them. The validated PTG scale and Templer death anxiety scale were used.


Between August 2017 and April 2018, 426 participants were evaluated in 3 different cancer centers. 361 (84.7%) participants declared that they had high level of impact on their daily life after the diagnosis. Being spouse of the patient, age more than 40, female sex, being married, presence of sibling and high DAN scores were associated with high PTG scores. In multivariate analysis, high DAN scores were the only parameter associated with high PTG scores. (OR: 1.6, CI (95%) 1.02-2.5, p = 0.03). Caring elderly patients, female sex, presence of siblings, low income, not working, presence of chronic disease and history of psychiatry admission were associated with high DAN scores. In multivariate analysis, female sex was the only risk factor for high DAN scores. (OR: 1.6, CI(95%) 1.1-2.8). There was a positive correlation between PTG and DAN scores (r = 0.15, p = 0.001). Higher DAN scores were associated with positive impacts on self perception (37 vs 35, p = 0.02), philosophy of life (16.0 vs 13.0, p = 0.035) and changes in relationship (16.0 vs 14.0, p = 0.01).Table: 1539O

High PTG scoreHigh DAN score
ORCI (95%)pORCI (95%)p
Being spouse1.10.6-1.90.57
>40 years of age1.10.7-1.70.60
Being female1.40.9-2.20.0551.61.1-2.80.049
Having sibling1.30.6-2.70.431.50.91-2.520.10
High TDA score1.61.02-
Low income1.310.8-2.00.24
Not working1.580.9-2.70.10
Chronic disease present1.00.5-1.60.99
Psychiatry admission1.20.6-2.30.52
High PTG score1.50.9-2.30.07


It’s the first data about the association between DAN and PTG. We found a positive impact of death anxiety on positive psychological changes in caregivers of cancer patients. This association should be further studied including spiritual experiences, religious perspective and family relations.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Ali Alkan.


Has not received any funding.

Editorial Acknowledgement


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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