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 score||High DAN score|
|OR||CI (95%)||p||OR||CI (95%)||p|
|>40 years of age||1.1||0.7-1.7||0.60|
|High TDA score||1.6||1.02-2.5||0.03||1.5||0.9-2.3||0.07|
|Chronic disease present||1.0||0.5-1.6||0.99|
|High PTG score||1.5||0.9-2.3||0.07|
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
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.